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Federer, Blake, Hewitt Advance in Marathon Day at Aussie Open


Fans at the Australian Open got plenty to remember Saturday with defending champion Roger Federer, American James Blake and local favorite Lleyton Hewitt of Australia scoring five-set wins to reach the fourth round.

Federer was down two sets to one to the 49th ranked Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia before rallying to win 6-7, 7-6, 5-7, 6-1,10-8 Saturday in a match that lasted nearly four-and-a-half hours. The Swiss tennis star, seeking his third straight Australian Open title, had 39 aces in the win.

No. 12 seed James Blake of the United States rallied to beat Sebastien Grosjean of France 4-6, 2-6, 6-0, 7-6, 6-2.

Because the Federer match lasted so long, Hewitt and Marcos Baghdatis did not start their match until almost midnight Melbourne time. The Australian gave the home fans plenty to cheer, beating the Cypriot player, 4-6, 7-5, 7-5, 6-7, 6-3. The four hour, 45 minute match match lasted until 4:35 Sunday morning in Melbourne, making it the latest starting and latest finishing match in Grand Slam tournament history.

Hewitt next plays third seed Novak Djokovic of Serbia, who won his third-round match against American Sam Querry 6-3, 6-1, 6-1.

There were two major upsets on the women's side. Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland beat second-seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia 6-3, 6-4 while Maria Kirilenko defeated fellow Russian, number-six seed Anna Chakvetadze 6-7, 6-1, 6-2.

Venus Williams of the United States scored a straight-sets win over Sania Mirza of India, 7-6, 6-4. Fourth seed Ana Ivanovic of Serbia made it to the round of 16 with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Slovenia's Katarina Srebotnik.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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