Federer marches on, Djokovic beats the heat but Wawrinka bows out

Monfils produced some impressive strokes to win the opening set of the second-round match

Monfils produced some impressive strokes to win the opening set of the second-round match

Kerber fell from her number one spot a year ago and is leaving no stone unturned to regain her lost position.

Federer, 36, remains on course to seal his 20th grand slam title and will face Frenchman Richard Gasquet in the third round.

Djokovic, who was given a time warning in the fourth set, said playing conditions had been right on the limit but was reluctant to criticise umpire John Blom.

He just did enough at the end to carve out a 4-6, 6-3, 6-1, 6-3 win in 2hr 45min on baking Rod Laver Arena.

World No1 Simona Halep was also convincing in her straight demolition of Canadian Eugenie Bouchard.

"Yeah, I think the adrenaline kicked in the third and fourth sets (against Tsonga)".

Former world number one Pliskova was among those to move smoothly into the second round, with a steady 6-3, 6-4 win over Veronica Cepede Royg.

No. 9 Johanna Konta beat Madison Brengle 6-3, 6-1, handing the USA a 10th loss in 11 first-round women's matches.

However, the numbers did not tell the full story as both players battled extreme heat in Melbourne, the mercury rising to 42 degrees Celsius at times on Rod Laver Arena, conditions they were critical of post-match.

Djokovic needed four match points, screaming in frustration on the third after Monfils hit a cross-court forehand victor to extend the two hours, 45-minute match. "It was brutal for the first hour and a half", said the Serb. "With a new service motion and the pressure and the big match and not playing in a while, that was the time for it to get tested and, getting through it, he'll be a lot better for it moving forward", the American tennis great said on Friday.

Kerber now looms as a serious title threat, having seemingly overcome the form struggles that plagued her previous year.

Next up is 2016 Australian Open champion Angelique Kerber, who beat Donna Vekic in two easy sets. Her birthday gift? A blockbuster clash with 2008 victor Maria Sharapova in the next round.

"Something is going on with Australia and me", said former No. 1-ranked Kerber, who the Sydney International last week for her first title since the 2016 U.S. Open.

"I got super dizzy, I think I had a small heatstroke for 40 minutes", he said after losing in four sets.

Roger Federer has lifted the lid on the locker-room advice he offered Alexander Zverev following the German's shock defeat to Hyeon Chung at the Australian Open.

"I was watching this tournament with a box of Kleenex next to me sick".

"With that question mark in mind, you are a bit more under tension, I guess".

"We want it to stay an outdoor event as long as possible but at the same time ensuring that the health and wellbeing of players is taken care of".

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