Andy Murray boosted by Juan Martin Del Potro's defeat in Melbourne
Juan Martin del Potro has been sent-packing from the Australian Open, losing in five sets to Frenchman Jeremy Chardy.
Last Updated: 19/01/13 7:42am
The powerful Argentinian was beaten 6-3 6-3 6-7 (7/3) 3-6 6-3 in three hours and 45 minutes, a result that removes a dangerous high-ranking opponent from Andy Murray's section of the draw.
Chardy, the world No 36, used his big forehand to whip 44 winners and 20 aces past the former US Open champion.
The 25-year-old hit a total of 78 winners during the match at the Hisense Arena, where he raced into a two-set lead thanks to three breaks of serve.
Del Potro, however, recovered to level matters and force a deciding set.
The key moments of the fifth set came in games five and eight, with Del Potro missing out on a break point opportunity in the former - a game that required five deuces to settle its outcome.
And in the eighth game, Chardy secured the decisive and only break of the set, before holding his serve to 15 to seal an impressive triumph with an ace.
Chardy admitted: "I think it's maybe my best win because it's in a Grand Slam at the Australian Open and against a top player."
Chardy now faces Italian Andreas Seppi - the No 21 seed - in the last 16.
Seppi shocked the No 12 seeded Croatian Marin Cilic in five sets 6-7(7-2) 6-3 2-6 6-4 6-2.
These two results - on paper at least - could help Murray's passage in the tournament with the Scot now an even bigger favourite to reach the last four in Melbourne.