Australian Open

Angelique Kerber advances in Australian Open

MELBOURNE — Angelique Kerber survived some nervous moments before fending off American teenager Madison Keys in the third round of the Australian Open, then got to blow out the candles on a cake to celebrate her 25th birthday.

Fifth-seeded Kerber won, 6-2, 7-5, on Friday to move into the fourth round, further than she’s gone in six trips to the Australian Open.

Local organizers brought Kerber a cake onto the court immediately after the match and the crowd at Rod Laver Arena sang ‘‘Happy Birthday.’’ She blew out the candles and said thank you to the crowd and to her 17-year-old opponent.


‘‘Madison is a great young player and it was very tough,’’ said Kerber, a semifinalist last year at Wimbledon. ‘‘So happy I won today on my birthday!’’

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Kerber will next play No. 19 Ekaterina Makarova of Russia, who advanced after a tough 6-7 (4-7), 6-3, 6-4 win over 2007 Wimbledon finalist Marion Bartoli.

In the fourth round last year, Makarova beat Serena Williams and was the first of only four women to beat the powerful American in 2012. The last to beat Willaims was Kerber.

Fourth-seeded Angieszka Radwanska, meanwhile, won her 12th match in a row with a 6-3, 6-1 victory over Britain’s Heather Watson on the second of the show courts at Melbourne Park.

She'll next play 2008 French Open champion Ana Ivanovic, who beat Jelena Jankovic, 7-5, 6-3, in a matchup featuring two Serbians who were both former top-ranked players.


Sixth-seeded Li Na advanced, 6-4, 6-1, over 27th-seeded Sorana Cirstea of Romania to a fourth-round match with No. 18 Julia Goerges, who beat Zheng Jie, 6-3, 1-6, 7-5 .

After soaring to 106 degrees on day four, the temperature dropped into the mid-70s on Friday, and light rain briefly interrupted play on some courts.

Roger Federer landed a 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 win over Nikolay Davydenko on Thursday night to set up a third-round match against Bernard Tomic, the last remaining Australian in the men’s or women’s draws.

The 20-year-old Tomic beat German qualifier Daniel Brands, 6-7 (4-7), 7-5, 7-6 (7-3), 7-6 (9-7) in the last afternoon match on the center court at Melbourne Park, keeping his cool on a long, searing day.

The advancing women included top-ranked Victoria Azarenka, third-ranked Serena Williams, former No. 1-ranked Caroline Wozniacki, No. 14 Maria Kirilenko, No. 16 Roberta Vinci, No. 20 Yanina Wickmayer, and Elena Vesnina, who beat No. 21-seeded Varvara Lepchenko of the United States, 6-4, 6-2.


On Friday, Venus Williams, who teamed with Serena for a doubles win, played a third-round match against No. 2-ranked Maria Sharapova.

Novak Djokovic resumed his bid for a third consecutive Australian Open title with a match against Radek Stepanek in the third round in the afternoon. No. 4 David Ferrer played Marcos Baghdatis in the last match.

Among the other men advancing were defending US Open champions Andy Murray, 2009 US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro, Frenchman Richard Gasquet, No. 13 Milos Raonic of Canada, and No. 21 Andreas Seppi of Italy.