Federer out, Murray through, Djokovic aiming to join Scot
The story of day five was that four-time Australian Open champion Roger Federer was knocked out in four sets by Italian Andreas Seppi, who won the match by hitting a stunning flat passing shot.
New title second-favourite Andy Murray (9/2) made light work of Joao Sousa in his encounter, beating the Portuguese 6-1 6-1 7-5, and sets up another mouthwatering battle against rising star Grigor Dimitrov in the fourth round. The Bulgarian knocked out the Scot in last year’s Wimbledon quarter-finals.
Returning star Rafael Nadal (11/2) also came through his late third round battle with Israel’s Dudi Sela, winning in three sets.
But Novak Djokovic (odds-on at 5/6) will aiming to join them, and he is the main course on day six of the event as he takes on veteran Spaniard Fernando Verdasco, who reached the semis here once in 2009.
Despite the Serb going into this tournament having just recovered form illness, he has made light work of his first two opponents, dropping just 14 games and no sets. Djokovic is heavily odds-on at 1/33 to beat Verdasco, and 2/7 to win 3-0.
Defending Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka (12/1 title chance) is the last Swiss standing, and he faces 2010 semi-finalist Jarkko Nieminen of Finland up next. Wawrinka is odds-on at 1/2 to win in three sets.
There are some other tasty battles in the third round to go, as ninth seed David Ferrer (1/3) takes on Frenchman Gilles Simon (9/4). The Spaniard is a more enticing 5/2 chance for a 3-1 victory.
Elsewhere Feliciano Lopez (13/8) is in action against young giant and 2013 Wimbledon semi-finalist Jerzy Janowicz (4/9), while other rising stars Kei Nishikori (14/1 title chance) and Milos Raonic (33/1) also feature on day six.
In the women’s draw, meanwhile, 5/2 Australian Open favourite Serena Williams faces Elina Svitolina. She is odds-on at 2/5 to beat the Ukrainian (7/4).
Victoria Azarenka, who knocked out Caroline Wozniacki, is a 10/1 chance to win her third title here, and she is up next against Barbora Zahlavova-Strycova.
Also in action in the final third round matches in the women’s section are Agnieszka Radwanska (18/1 tournament chance), Petra Kvitova (6/1) and Venus Williams (33/1).