TENNIS: Djokovic rolls to easy win

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MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) - Novak Djokovic gave Nicolas Mahut one lousy birthday present.

Djokovic routed the Frenchman on his 30th birthday, winning 6-0, 6-1, 6-1 on Saturday to advance to the fourth round of the Australian Open.

Top-seeded Djokovic needed only 1 hour, 14 minutes to move past Mahut, who lost the longest match in Grand Slam history at 11 hours, 5 minutes against John Isner at Wimbledon in 2010.

"I wish him happy birthday and hopefully tonight he can enjoy it," Djokovic said.

The defending champion is aiming to become the fifth man in the Open era to win three straight Grand Slam titles. He will play Milos Raonic or Lleyton Hewitt in the fourth round.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, whom Djokovic beat at Melbourne Park for his first Grand Slam title in 2008, also hardly broke a sweat in beating Frederico Gil of Portugal 6-2, 6-2, 6-2.

On the women's side, two Wimbledon winners - Petra Kvitova and Maria Sharapova - advanced, but two top-10 players were eliminated.

Seventh-seeded Vera Zvonareva lost 7-6 (7), 6-1 to fellow Russian Ekaterina Makerova. No. 9 Marion Bartoli fell 6-3, 6-3 against Zheng Jie of China, a former Australian Open semifinalist.

Sharapova was tested for the first time, but still emerged with a 6-1, 6-2 win over Germany's Angelique Kerber.

The 2008 champion has lost five games in reaching the fourth round. She won her first two matches 6-0, 6-1 despite not playing any warmup tournaments because of an ankle injury.

The scoreline on Saturday made it look easy enough for Sharapova, but she was pushed during a 56-minute second set, with many games going to deuce.

After clinching the victory with a forehand winner, Sharapova showed her relief by clenching her fist and screeching "Come on."

"She certainly stepped up in the second set," Sharapova said. "She reached the semifinals at the U.S. Open last year so she's been on the big stage before and I knew she could produce some really good tennis."


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