Novak Djokovic of Serbia makes a backhand return to Fernando Verdasco of Spain during their third round match at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
Lee Jin-man
January 24, 2015

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) Novak Djokovic advanced to the fourth round of the Australian Open for the ninth consecutive year with a 7-6 (8), 6-3, 6-4 win over Fernando Verdasco on Saturday.

Four-time champion Djokovic won the tiebreaker on his fourth set point when Verdasco hit consecutive shots wide.

The No. 1-ranked Djokovic broke the Spanish left-hander at the start of the second set, then saved two break points with consecutive aces to take a 3-0 lead.

There was some levity at the end of the second set when a man in the Rod Laver Arena crowd proposed to his girlfriend, offering her a ring. When the woman said yes, many in the capacity crowd of 15,000 applauded, as did Djokovic from his courtside chair.

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