Melbourne, Jan 18: Russian fourth seed Nikolay Davydenko has become the first player to advance to the fourth round of the Australian Open men's singles with a straight sets victory over Frenchman Marc Gicquel today.
Davydenko, who reached the semi-finals of the French and US Opens last year, won 6-3, 6-2, 6-3 in two hours and 20 minutes.
The low-profile Russian will play compatriot and 14th seed Mikhail Youzhny in the fourth round. Youzhny hammered 20th seed Ivo Karlovic of Croatia 6-2, 6-4, 6-2. Meanwhile Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France downed Guillermo Garcia-Lopez of Spain in straight sets, 6-3, 6-4, 6-2.
Davydenko, who has yet to progress past the quarter-final round at the season-opening grand slam, dominated his match with the Tunisian-born Gicquel, whom he beat in two sets at Rotterdam last year.
He broke Gicquel's service a total of seven times, including three in the final set and monopolised the points, 103 to 81.
Davydenko was helped by the 73rd-ranked Gicquel's flood of 52 unforced errors, while the consistent Russian conceded 28.
Davydenko, who won on his second match point, reached the semi-finals of the Doha Open on his way to Australia, losing to eventual British winner Andy Murray