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Top seeds advance in Australian Open

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Despite going down a break in the decider, Halep kept her composure to eventually prevail 6-3 6-7(5) 6-4

Romanias Simona Halep celebrates after defeating United States Sofia Kenin in their second round match at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019. Picture: AP Photo/Aaron Favila

Top seeds Novak Djokovic and Simona Halep advanced to the Australian Open third round yesterday but Halep was made to work hard for her win over American Sofia Kenin.

Djokovic produced a clinical display to put away Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-3 7-5 6-4 in a repeat of the 2008 final at Melbourne Park.

It was the 31-year-old Serb’s 16th consecutive win on the Grand Slam stage and he will next face Canadian youngster Denis Shapovalov.

Halep (pictured) was cruising to victory after leading by a set and a break but Kenin roared back to edge the second set in a tiebreak.

Despite going down a break in the decider, Halep kept her composure to eventually prevail 6-3 6-7(5) 6-4.

It is the first time since Wimbledon in 2009 that all of the women’s top eight seeds have reached the third round at a Grand Slam.

Serena Williams needed just 70 minutes to swat aside Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard 6-2 6-2 as she continued her quest for a record 24th Grand Slam title.

Twice Grand Slam winner Garbine Muguruza overcame Britain’s Johanna Konta 6-4 6-7(3) 7-5 in a marathon match that finished after 0300 local time. The Spaniard will next face two-times finalist Venus Williams.

Alexander Zverev survived a scare as he held off Frenchman Jeremy Chardy in a 7-6(5) 6-4 5-7 6-7(6) 6-1 victory.