Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer matched each other stroke for stroke on their way to the third round of the Australian Open.
The two found themselves playing at exactly the same time, under the roofs on Rod Laver and Hisense Arena. Their matches finished within a couple of minutes of each other and both secured straight-sets wins.
Top seed Nadal faced the lowest-ranked player in the draw, 17-year-old Thanasi Kokkinakis, the world No 570.
The Australian gave a very good account of himself but the Spaniard won 6-2, 6-4, 6-2.
Federer raced through the first two sets against Slovenian Blaz Kavcic but was given a tougher test in the third before coming through 6-2, 6-1, 7-6 (7/4). The Swiss said: “It was a good first two sets, I thought. I played really aggressively and it worked out. In the third set I think he was more consistent. He served better. In the process, it got closer. I’m happy I got it done in three.”
Nadal was impressed with his young opponent. He said: “Even if that’s his ranking, when you are playing against a young player, you never have that feeling. That’s not the real ranking. He has a great future.”
Tenth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is a potential fourth-round opponent for Federer and he was in fine form in a 7-6 (8/6), 6-4, 6-4 win over Thomaz Bellucci.
Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut caused the upset of the tournament so far with a five-set victory over fifth seed Juan Martin del Potro. Bautista Agut, the world No 62, came from two sets to one down to triumph 4-6, 6-3, 5-7, 6-4, 7-5 as the clock ticked past 1am.
It was not the latest finish of the night, that was Benoit Paire and Nick Kyrgios, the Frenchman beating the 18-year-old Australian in five sets.
Japan’s Kei Nishikori, the 16th seed, raced through against qualifier Dusan Lajovic, while American Donald Young upset Andreas Seppi in five sets.
There was another five-set win for Paire’s countryman Gilles Simon. After defeating Daniel Brands 16-14 in the fifth set in round one, he fought back from two sets to one down to beat Croat Marin Cilic.
Gael Monfils will play Nadal after beating American Jack Sock while there were also wins for Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov, Canada’s Milos Raonic and Spaniard Feliciano Lopez.
Eighth seed Stanislas Wawrinka was handed a place in the fourth round when opponent Vasek Pospisil withdrew ahead of their scheduled match with a back injury.