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Djokovic, Murray, Hewitt reach fourth round Down Under

Last year's champion Novak Djokovic up Andy Murray, as well as Aussie hero and former finalist Lleyton round winners at the Australian Open.

The world No. 1 Djokovic rolled past helpless Frenchman Nicolas Mahut 6-0, 6-1, 6-1 on Day 6. The Serbian slugger advanced in a mere 74 minutes, piling up eight service breaks in the process and holding his serve throughout.

"I always played well in Australia. This is the only Grand Slam I won twice," Djokovic said. "The conditions are great. They're very suitable to my style of the game, day and night. I'm really looking forward to next week."

The reigning Aussie Open, Wimbledon and U.S. Open titlist has now won 35 of his last 37 Grand Slam matches and is seeking a third straight major title and a third Aussie crown. A title here would put Djokovic in select company, as only four players -- Rod Laver, Pete Sampras, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal -- have captured three straight Grand Slam championships.

Djokovic, who beat Murray in last year's Aussie finale, will meet the former No. 1 Hewitt here on Monday.

A fourth-seeded Murray, meanwhile, improved to 15-2 here over the last three years with a 6-4, 6-2, 6-0 throttling of French left-hander Michael Llodra in 1 hour, 49 minutes. The Brit swatted 30 more winners (48-18) in the Day-6 rout.

In addition to his loss against Djokovic in last year's finale, Murray gave way to Federer in the 2010 Aussie title tilt.

The three-time major finalist Murray, who captured a title in Brisbane two weeks ago, will face Kazakhstan's Mikhail Kukushkin in the fourth round next week.

The unseeded Hewitt thrilled the home crowd by upending rising 23rd-seeded Milos Raonic 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7-5), 6-3.

Hewitt moved on in 3 hours, 6 minutes, despite 23 aces from Raonic, who also piled up 54 unforced errors. The Aussie veteran managed three key service breaks, compared to two for the Canadian loser.

Raonic recently titled in India to open the 2012 season.

Hewitt is a two-time major champion and was the 2005 Aussie runner-up to Marat Safin.

Fifth-seeded Spaniard David Ferrer took care of 27th-seeded Argentine Juan Ignacio Chela 7-5, 6-2, 6-1, while France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the tournament's sixth seed, tattooed Frederico Gil of Portugal 6-2, 6-2, 6-2. Tsonga lost to Djokovic in the 2008 Aussie Open finale.

Ferrer titled in Auckland last week, while Tsonga is fresh off his championship in Doha two weeks ago.

A top-10 upset came when sweet-swinging Frenchman Richard Gasquet, seeded 17th, dismissed No. 9 Serb Janko Tipsarevic 6-3, 6-3, 6-1 in 1 hour, 37 minutes. A lethargic Tipsarevic exited after misfiring for 33 unforced errors, compared to only eight for the in-form Gasquet.

Gasquet should have his hands full with the gritty Ferrer here on Monday.

In other third-round play, the aforementioned Kukushkin stunned 14th-seeded French star Gael Monfils 6-2, 7-5, 5-7, 1-6, 6-4, while 24th-seeded Japanese Kei Nishikori bested France's Julien Benneteau 4-6, 7-6 (7-3), 7-6 (7-4), 6-3. The capable Benneteau was a finalist in Sydney last week.

Nishikori will tangle with Tsonga in the round of 16.

The fourth round will commence Sunday, including matches for a second-seeded Nadal and a third-seeded Federer. Nadal will take on 18th-seeded fellow Spaniard and Davis Cup teammate Feliciano Lopez, while Federer will encounter rising Aussie sensation, 19-year-old Bernard Tomic.

The former No. 1 Nadal owns 10 major titles, including last year's French Open and the 2009 Aussie, when he topped Federer in the final at Melbourne Park. The former top-ranked Federer boasts a men's record 16 Grand Slam wins, including a men's Open era record-tying four Aussie championships.

Also on Sunday, seventh-seeded former Wimbledon runner-up Tomas Berdych will meet 10th-seeded Nicolas Almagro and 11th-seeded former U.S. Open champ Juan Martin del Potro will battle German Philipp Kohlschreiber.