Unbreakable Ferrer, Berdych into fourth round
MELBOURNE - Unbreakable Spaniard David Ferrer reached his 15th straight Grand Slam fourth round at the Australian Open Friday as Tomas Berdych ended a Bosnian fairytale.
Third seed Ferrer denied Frenchman Jeremy Chardy 6-2, 7-6 (7/5), 6-2 in two hours and 12 minutes in fierce afternoon heat to continue his amazing consistency.
Ferrer, a semi-finalist in Melbourne last year, has not failed to reach the fourth round at a Grand Slam since Roland Garros in 2010.
Meanwhile, Czech seventh seed Berdych halted qualifier Damir Dzumhur's historic run under the Bosnia and Herzegovina flag, prevailing 6-4, 6-2, 6-2 in one hour 45 minutes on Hisense Arena.
Dzumhur, cheered on by his chanting compatriots as the country's first man to contest a Grand Slam, was also bidding to become the first qualifier to reach a Slam round of 16 since Brian Baker at 2011 Wimbledon.
Earlier, the tenacious Ferrer hammered it out with Chardy from the baseline and fought off three second-set points to move on in the bottom half of the men's draw.
"The key was when I won the second set because I was playing well in the first set and part of the second without mistakes," Ferrer said.
"But at 4-3 in the second set I made a lot of mistakes. I had set points down and after winning the second set I played more relaxed.
"Maybe it was my best match this week."
Ferrer's unforced errors outnumbered his winners 24-22, but he dominated from the baseline and only dropped his service once, while breaking Chardy's serve five times.
"I am very proud of that, I like to play consistent and over the last four to five years I have been getting some good results," Ferrer said of reaching the fourth round.
In the last 16 Ferrer will face Germany's Florian Mayer, who went through with a 7-5, 6-2, 6-2 win over Polish 20th seed Jerzy Janowicz.
Berdych, a Wimbledon finalist in 2010, was well on top of Dzumhur and he said he was pleased with his progress through the first week.
"So far everything's going well. I went through a couple of challenges through those three matches. But I played three guys, and two of them I haven't seen before," he said.
"There were a good few things that I tried and proved for myself that everything is going well. I feel good on the court. That's important for my game."
Swiss eighth seed Stanislas Wawrinka progressed without playing a point after his third-round opponent Vasek Pospisil withdrew with a back injury.
Wawrinka is scheduled to face either French ninth seed Richard Gasquet or Spanish 17th seed Tommy Robredo.
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