MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — El argentino Juan Martín Del Potro, campeón del abierto de Estados Unidos en el 2009, perdió 6-3, 6-3, 6-7(3), 3-6, 6-3 el sábado un maratónico partido de tercera ronda del Abierto de Australia contra el francés Jeremy Chardy, lo que dejó apenas tres ganadores de major vivos en el cuadro masculino.

Chardy ganó los dos primeros sets y después de que Del Potro, sexto favorito, remontó para igualar el encuentro, el francés consiguió el quiebre crucial en el octavo game del quinto set y después resistió para llevarse el partido, que cerró con un ace.

"Por supuesto, no es un buen resultado después de que regresé tras estar dos sets abajo, pero Jeremy jugó muy bien en el quinto set", dijo el argentino. "El estaba muy tranquilo para cerrar el partido en el final".

"Jeremy jugó muy fuerte durante cuatro horas", añadió. "Al final, cuando tuvo la oportunidad de romperme (el servicio), lo hizo. Jugó mejor en los momentos importantes y aprovechó la oportunidad de ganar el partido".

Chardy, 36to del mundo, tenía una victoria sobre el número tres del escalafón, el británico Andy Murray, en Cincinnati el año pasado, pero dijo que el triunfo sobre Del Potro fue un mayor logro personal dadas las circunstancias.

"Aquí es algo más por tratarse del Abierto de Australia, tercera ronda, contra un gran jugador", dijo. "Es una gran victoria para mí. Y tal vez la mejor de mi carrera".

El segundo favorito Roger Federer derrotó 6-4, 7-6 (5), 6-1 al australiano Bernard Tomic. Federer perdía 4-1 en el desempate pero se recuperó para ganar seis de los siguientes siete puntos frente a un lleno total de 15.000 personas en el Rod Laver Arena.

"Tuve un par de oportunidades más que él, pero pensé que el desempaté lo iba a favorecer", dijo Federer. "Creo que en general jugamos un gran partido, de verdad sacó lo mejor de mí esta noche".

El suizo, quien tiene cuatro títulos australianos entre sus 17 majors, jugará contra el canadiense Milos Raonic, que derrotó 7-6 (4), 6-3, 6-4 al número 17 del mundo, el alemán Philipp Kohlschreiber.

El británico Murray, quien apenas se sumó a los ganadores de Grand Slam en el abierto de Estados Unidos del año pasado, también avanzó al derrotar 6-3, 6-4, 7-5 al lituano Ricardas Berankis.

El número uno Novak Djokovic dio otro paso hacia su tercer título consecutivo en Australia con su victoria de tercera ronda el viernes.

Luego de eliminar a Del Potro, Chardy se enfrentará al número 21 del escalafón, el italiano Andreas Seppi, quien eliminó por 6-7 (2), 6-3, 2-6, 6-4, 6-2 a Marin Cilic, 12do del mundo.

Otro par de franceses avanzaron y se encontrarán en la cuarta ronda. El número siete Jo-Wilfried Tsonga derrotó 6-2, 6-1, 6-4 al esloveno Blaz Kavcic para citarse con Richard Gasquet, noveno del escalafón, quien superó 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (2), 6-0 al croata Ivan Dodig.

En el cuadro femenino, Serena Williams y Victoria Azarenka avanzaron el sábado a la cuarta ronda.

La favorita Williams, quien le apunta su tercer título de major consecutivo, se recuperó de un quiebre en el segundo set para ganar seis games consecutivos y derrotar 6-1, 6-3 a la japonesa Ayumi Morita en 66 minutos.

Azarenka, campeona defensora y primera del escalafón, tuvo problemas para vencer 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 a la estadounidense Jamie Hampton, quien jugó con molestias. La tenista bielorrusa cometió seis dobles faltas, pero al final sobrevivió.

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  • Roger Federer of Switzerland takes part in a practice session for the upcoming Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 12, 2013. The first Grand Slam tennis tournament of the year is set to run from January 14 to 27. AFP PHOTO / Paul CROCK IMAGE STRICTLY RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE (Photo credit should read PAUL CROCK/AFP/Getty Images)

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  • MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 12: Roger Federer of Switzerland speaks to the media ahead of the 2013 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 12, 2013 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Robert Prezioso/Getty Images)

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  • Roger Federer of Switzerland takes part in a practice session for the upcoming Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 12, 2013. The first Grand Slam tennis tournament of the year is set to run from January 14 to 27. AFP PHOTO / Paul CROCK IMAGE STRICTLY RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE (Photo credit should read PAUL CROCK/AFP/Getty Images)

  • MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 12: Roger Federer of Switzerland speaks to the media ahead of the 2013 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 12, 2013 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Robert Prezioso/Getty Images)

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  • Roger Federer of Switzerland takes part in a practice session for the upcoming Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 12, 2013. The first Grand Slam tennis tournament of the year is set to run from January 14 to 27. AFP PHOTO / Paul CROCK IMAGE STRICTLY RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE (Photo credit should read PAUL CROCK/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Roger Federer of Switzerland waves to the crowd as he takes a break during a practice session for the upcoming Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 12, 2013. The first Grand Slam tennis tournament of the year is set to run from January 14 to 27. AFP PHOTO / Paul CROCK IMAGE STRICTLY RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE (Photo credit should read PAUL CROCK/AFP/Getty Images)

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  • Players from left, Victoria Azarenka of Belarus, France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Switzerland's Roger Federer, Serbia's Novak Djokovic, Serena Williams of the US and Serbia's Ana Ivanoic pose for a group photo following an exhibition match on Rod Laver Arena during the Kids Tennis Day at Melbourne Park ahead of the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

  • France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, left, Switzerland's Roger Federer and Victoria Azarenka of Belarus play an exhibition match during the Kids Tennis Day at Melbourne Park ahead of the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

  • TENNIS-OPEN-AUS

    Roger Federer of Switzerland hits a return during a practice session for the upcoming Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 11, 2013. The first Grand Slam tennis tournament of the year is set to run from January 14 to 27. AFP PHOTO / Paul CROCK IMAGE STRICTLY RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE (Photo credit should read PAUL CROCK/AFP/Getty Images)