There were no upsets on day four at the Australian Open as the top seeds eased into the third round including Simona Halep, Karolina Pliskova, Rafael Nadal, Daniil Medvedev and Dominic Thiem.
Romanian fourth seed Halep comfortably accounted for British qualifier Harriet Dart on Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, winning 6-2, 6-4.
The win made it back-to-back victories for Halep for the first time since August, although it wasn’t without trouble.
“It was a bit dangerous because I lost focus in the end,” two-time Grand Slam winner Halep said.
“She started to play well in the end so it was more difficult for me to hold it.”
“I like to play under pressure. It’s more fun and more excitement, but I’d prefer to finish the match more quickly.”
Second-ranked Pliskova, who is chasing her maiden major title, got past Laura Siegemund 6-3, 6-3, while former world number one Gabine Muguruza defeated Australian hope Ajla Tomjlanovic 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.
In the women’s singles, 17th seed Angelique Kerber and sixth seed Belinda Bencic also triumphed, while 20th seed Karolina Muchova lost to Cici Bellis and 26th seed Danielle Collins was eliminated by Yulia Putintseva.
Putintseva will next play Halep in the third round on Saturday.
Fourth seed Medvedev knocked off Spanish qualifier Pedro Martinez 7-5, 6-1, 6-3, while seventh seed Alexander Zverev defeated Belarussian Egor Gerasimov 7-6 (7-5), 6-4, 7-5.
Fifth seed Dominic Thiem survived a major scare against local hope Alex Bolt, triumphing in five sets, 6-2, 5-7, 6-7 (5-7), 6-1, 6-2.
Georgian 26th seed Nikoloz Basilashvili bowed out, the seed only to exit among the men on day four, while 15th seed Stanislas Wawrinka survived a five-set epic with Italian veteran Andreas Seppi 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4.