HIGHLIGHTS-Tennis-Australian Open day four
Jan 17 (Reuters) - Highlights of Thursday's fourth day of the Australian Open, the first Grand Slam tournament of the year (all times GMT):
0859 POPYRIN THROUGH AS THIEM RETIRES
Australian wildcard Alexei Popyrin advanced to the third round after seventh seed Dominic Thiem retired from the contest while trailing 7-5 6-4 2-0.
Raonic overcomes Wawrinka in pulsating four-setter
Osaka bashes through to third round
Osaka coy on niggle after reaching third round
Nishikori has another great escape to reach third round
Graf backs Williams to surpass Court's Grand Slam record
LTA keen to work with Murray to develop British tennis
Federer fends off British 'mirror' Evans to advance
Kerber wins battle of left-handers to progress to third round
Nadal spins way into third round with near flawless display
Novak, Rafa and I still Grand Slam favorites - Federer
Bryan believes Murray could come back from hip surgery
Back where it all began, Djokovic renews Tsonga rivalry
Australian Open order of play on Thursday
0643 CHUNG STUNNED BY HERBERT
Last year's semi-finalist Chung Hyeon, seeded 24th, was knocked out by unseeded Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-2 1-6 6-2 6-4. Frenchman Herbert meets Milos Raonic next.
0627 RAONIC OVERCOMES WAWRINKA
Canada's Milos Raonic dropped the first set but recovered to beat Stan Wawrinka 6-7(4) 7-6(6) 7-6(11) 7-6(5) in a contest that lasted just over four hours.
0506 PLAY UNDERWAY AFTER RAIN DELAY
Action resumed on the main showcourts at Melbourne following a short spell of rain.
0608 OSAKA SAILS THROUGH
U.S. Open champion Naomi Osaka powered past unseeded Slovenian Tamara Zidansek 6-2 6-4. She plays Taiwan's Hsieh Su-wei in the next round.
0427 RAIN DELAY IN MELBOURNE
Play was suspended at the Australian Open due to rain. Stan Wawrinka and 16th seed Milos Raonic were locked at 4-4 in the third set having claimed one set apiece in their second round encounter on Rod Laver Arena.
0406 NISHIKORI MADE TO WORK HARD FOR WIN OVER KARLOVIC
Kei Nishikori was dragged into a five-setter for the second match in a row but the eighth seed dug deep to beat Croatian veteran Ivo Karlovic 6-3 7-6(6) 5-7 5-7 7-6(7).
The Japanese looked in control after taking a two-set lead but the 39-year-old Karlovic did not back down and leveled the contest. Nishikori held his nerve in a tight decider to prevail in three hours and 48 minutes.
0223 SEVASTOVA BATTLES PAST ANDREESCU
U.S. Open semi-finalist Anastasija Sevastova overcame a mid-match blip to defeat Canadian qualifier Bianca Andreescu 6-3 3-6 6-2 and advance to the third round. The 13th seed takes on China's Wang Qiang next.
0110 GIORGI SWATS ASIDE SWIATEK
Italy's Camila Giorgi took less than an hour to move into the third round with a 6-2 6-0 victory over Polish qualifier Iga Swiatek.
The 27-year-old capitalized on a poor service game from Swiatek to sieze six of her 11 break opportunities and will next face either seventh seed Karolina Pliskova or Madison Brengle.
0010 PLAY UNDERWAY AT MELBOURNE PARK
Play got underway on schedule under cloudy skies at 11 a.m. local time (0000 GMT) with the temperature hovering just above the 25 degrees Celsius mark with an expected high of 37C and some rain forecast.
Former men's champion Stan Wawrinka should prove a dangerous opponent for 16th seed Milos Raonic when they are up second on Rod Laver Arena, while Serena Williams continues her quest for a 24th Grand Slam singles title against Canada's Eugenie Bouchard in the first match of the evening session.
Men's eighth seed Kei Nishikori, who was in danger of losing his first round match to Kamil Majchrzak before the Polish qualifier suffered severe cramping, faces Ivo Karlovic on Margaret Court Arena. (Compiled by Greg Stutchbury; Editing by Peter Rutherford/Amlan Chakraborty)
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