Top seed players advance into Australian Open

MELBOURNE: Top seed Rafael Nadal maintained his perfect record as he swept past Chile''s Fernando Gonzalez and into the Australian Open quarter-finals.

The Wimbledon and French Open champion, looking fit and revived after an extended off-season, is yet to be challenged in Melbourne after easy wins against Christophe Rochus, Roko Karanusic and Tommy Haas.

Second seed Serena Williams progressed to the quarterfinals after opponent Victoria Azarenka retired through illness.

The top seeds had been rolling along at the Australian Open, but Fernando Verdasco had something to say about that.

Next up for Verdasco is fifth-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France, who beat No. 9 James Blake 6-4, 6-4, 7-6 (3), leaving No. 7 Andy Roddick as the only American in the men''s draw.

Gilles Simon enjoyed a commanding 6-4, 2-6, 6-1 lead before fellow Frenchman Gael Monfils retired with a wrist injury in the fourth set.