Roger Federer thrilled Rod Laver Arena on Thursday with a straight-sets victory over Jan-Lennard Struff as other top names made early Australian Open exits.
Federer comfortably saw off the challenge of Struff in day four's final game, the second seed only pushed in the third set as his German opponent forced a tie-break.
Victory was assured in less than two hours, Federer marching on to a match with Richard Gasquet as another former champion – Stan Wawrinka – bowed out in the second round.
Novak Djokovic had the toughest of the sweltering conditions in Melbourne as he saw off Gael Monfils, while there were also wins for Tomas Berdych, Juan Martin Del Potro and Alexander Zverev.
David Goffin joined Wawrinka in departing, though, as Julien Benneateau's final year on the ATP Tour got off to a marvellous start.
FABULOUS FEDERER MARCHES ON
Federer already has five Australian Open crowns to his name and he looks in fine fettle as he goes in search of a sixth - which would see him equal Djokovic's record in Melbourne.
The 36-year-old belied his age to ease past Struff, saving two of the three break points he faced - all of which came in the final set of his 6-4 6-4 7-6 (7-4) win.
Next up is Gasquet in what will be a must-see for fans of a one-handed backhand, both men fine exponents of the art.
And it is a clash Federer is relishing, saying in his on-court interview: "I love playing against one-handed [backhand] guys because we need to keep it alive for as long as possible."
TENNYS IS THE BIG WINNER
Former champion Wawrinka only returned from a knee injury in Melbourne and there was plenty of rustiness in his game against the appropriately named Tennys Sandgren, the American taking full advantage to continue his best grand slam performance.
Sandgren had never won a match at a major event before this week, but has now beaten a three-time grand slam winner and will meet Maximilian Marterer - who ousted Fernando Verdasco in five sets - in round three.
Wawrinka was not the only big name to depart on day four with Goffin and 2017 Wimbledon semi-finalist Sam Querrey also suffering surprise defeats to Benneteau and Marton Fucsovics respectively.
"I only had surgery five months ago, five months and three days," said a philosophical Wawrinka. "I think I'm way ahead of what I should be, that's for sure. That's why I need to be positive.
"Today was extremely tough, but I need to take what I can to be positive with everything, with the big picture."
DJOKOVIC AND MONFILS QUESTION "BRUTAL HEAT"
From the scoreline, Djokovic's victory over Monfils looked relatively straightforward, the Serbian coming from a set down to win 4-6 6-3 6-1 6-3 in just under three hours.
However, the numbers did not tell the full story as both players battled extreme heat in Melbourne, the mercury rising to 42 degrees Celsius at times on Rod Laver Arena, conditions they were critical of post-match.
"The conditions were brutal, that's for sure," Djokovic told a media conference. "I mean, we both struggled."
Monfils added: "It was tough to breathe. I think it was the hardest I have [played in]. I got super dizzy, I think I had small heat stroke for 40 minutes. I couldn't feel fresh. I tried to cool down, but even with the ice towel, the water [I could not]. I think my body was super warm."
DON'T STOP BELIEVING
Fifth seed Dominic Thiem would have been expected to brush aside qualifier Denis Kudla on Margaret Court Arena, but the Austrian found himself two sets down to the American after two hours on court.
Thiem was not to be denied, though, as he rallied to edge a five-set thriller 6-7 (6-8) 3-6 6-3 6-2 6-3, a feat he never gave up on despite his early problems.
"Of course, it's very tough [being two sets down]," he said. "Not easy mentally, but from when I was a break up in the third set, the mind was again positive. I always knew that if I play well and if I keep it up that I could turn it around."
|Fit-again Joseph added to England squad|
|It is very, very serious for us - Tuchel wants midfielder in January window|
|Lakers expect Rajon Rondo back Thursday as LeBron James continues rehab|
|Atletico Madrid boosted as Koke thigh injury revealed to be minor|
|South Korea 2 Bahrain 1 (after extra time): Kim Jin-su seals quarter-final spot|
|AC Milan confirm Zapata thigh injury|
|I miss him a lot - Guardiola confirms ´clever´ Mendy back in Man City squad|
|Tiafoe wants LeBron meeting after run to Australian Open quarters|
|Cardiff continue to ´pray´ for Sala|
|West Ham fined over Burnley clash chaos|
|Knicks star Enes Kanter frustrated by reduced role|
|Kvitova getting back to her best, says Barty|
|Kvitova revels in first semi of ´second career´|
|Messi´s the best player in every world – Boateng dismisses past Real Madrid comments|
|Thunder frustrations continue against Renegades|
|Alonso vows to clear name in tax fraud case|
|Classy Nadal downs Tiafoe to set up Tsitsipas semi|
|Hoedt leaves Southampton for Celta Vigo on loan|
|Melbourne City 4 Western Sydney Wanderers 3: Hosts edge thriller with two goals in last six minutes|
|Wilder won´t even pick up the phone - Hearn not hopeful of AJ bout|
|Sala was on board missing plane, say French authorities|
|Arsenal´s Bellerin out for season with ACL rupture|
|Gatland waiting on ´concrete´ offers|
|Ronaldo accepts prison sentence and €18.8m fine for tax fraud|
|Tsitsipas: It was vital to back up Federer win|
|Awesome Kvitova ends Barty´s home run in Melbourne|
|CA rejects Thunder appeal for full points in abandoned Heat clash|
|Emiliano Sala: Concerns grow for Cardiff striker after plane goes missing|
|Harden unimpressed with refs in Rockets´ 76ers disappointment|
|Ronaldo arrives for sentencing in tax fraud case|
|Record-breaking evening ´one of those nights´ for Warriors star Thompson|
|Hazard still interested in Real Madrid but won´t rule out Chelsea stay|
|Collins moves past Pavlyuchenkova, into Australian Open semis|
|Kohli makes history with ICC awards sweep|
|Thompson sets NBA record with 10 straight made three-pointers to open game|
|76ers hand Rockets largest loss of season, Harden scores 37 points|
|Tsitsipas overcomes Bautista Agut to continue Aus Open run|
|Barcelona move a ´dream come true´ for Boateng|
|Rams coach McVay on Gurley: I´ve got to get him more opportunities|
|Butler´s sprained wrist not expected to keep him out ´long term´|
|Saints owner Benson will ´aggressively pursue changes in NFL policies´|
|Levante to take Copa case to CAS|
|It can happen – Allegri plays down Ronaldo penalty miss|
|Mavericks´ Doncic becomes second-youngest player to record triple-double|
|Yankees send Sonny Gray to Reds|
|Ashley Cole reunited with Frank Lampard at Derby County|
|Arnold ready to mix things up in 2019 Asian Cup quarter-finals|
|Arum: Joshua desperately needs to fight in the United States|
|South Korea v Bahrain: Bento optimistic of continuing unblemished campaign|
|Bolton Wanderers 0 West Brom 2: Baggies bounce up to third after tennis ball protest|
|Confident Moeen ready to shine for England in the Caribbean|
|Juventus 3 Chievo 0: Allegri´s men cruise despite Ronaldo penalty save|
|Boateng completes shock Barcelona switch|
|United Arab Emirates 3 Kyrgyzstan 2 (after extra time): Khalil penalty sets up Socceroos showdown|
|West Indies add Drakes to new-look coaching team|
|Barcelona is a huge opportunity – Boateng confirms shock move is close|
|Donnarumma wishes Higuain luck ahead of expected Chelsea switch|
|Qatar v Iraq: Katanec anticipating ´huge challenge´ in last 16|
|Nuno hit with FA misconduct charge for pitch celebration|
|Furious Carreno Busta and Zverev bow out, Djokovic marches on|
|#NotMartinFromWakefield – Siewert shows viral sensation the door|
|Djokovic feeling the strain after late-night Medvedev battle|
|Henderson sidelined again ahead of Six Nations|
|Australia 0 Uzbekistan 0 (aet, 4-2 on penalties): Ryan heroics see holders hobble onwards|
|Halep exit leaves four-way fight to be crowned number one at Australian Open|
|Super Bowl-bound Rams set for London return, Chiefs to face Chargers in Mexico|
|Huddersfield appoint Siewert as Wagner´s replacement|
|Genoa 0 AC Milan 2: Borini and Suso step up with Higuain left out|
|McTominay signs new Manchester United contract|
|Pizzi to stand down after Saudi Arabia elimination|