Roger Federer asked Australian Open organisers for his second-round win over Jan-Lennard Struff to played during the evening session in Melbourne, in order to avoid the searing temperatures that reached nearly 40 degrees on day four of the opening grand slam of 2018.

The 19-time grand slam champion set up a third-round clash with Richard Gasquet after a comfortable 6-4, 6-4, 7-6 win over German Struff, who was playing in the second round Down Under for the first time.

Day four at Melbourne Park has been dominated by the relentless heat, which Novak Djokovic described as "brutal" during his four-set win over Gael Monfils. Federer, a five-time winner, was able to swerve such conditions, however, after submitting a personal request to tournament officials.

"There are maybe 60 guys asking for stuff and I am one of those guys, yes," the 36-year-old said, when asked whether he had influenced the timing of his match. "Possibly [I have more leverage] but it is not my call it is their call.

"There are guys like Novak, other guys who they're going to listen to of course, the Aussies. TV as well, I don't know what you guys ask for at night.

"I am happy I didn't have to go from night to day and back to night, so I was happy to stay in the same rhythm. I wouldn't have minded playing during the day.

"I hope I survive under those conditions too because if you want to get to the top you have to play in all sorts of conditions. It is more helpful to play now than in the day."

Djokovic had earlier been forced to deny claims he had actually asked for his own second round clash with Monfils to be played during the afternoon in an effort to destabilise his French opponent.

The Serbian, the champion in Australia a record-equalling six times, went on to lament the organisers for not delaying play until later in the afternoon, when the hottest conditions had passed.

"Did I request? No," he told the media after his 4-6 6-3, 6-1 6-3 success. "I think it was just, you know, whatever they put me. I don't have anything against French (smiling). I mean, actually I get along very well with Gael and most of the guys. It's sport. I mean, I don't know what to say."

He added: The conditions were brutal, that's for sure. I mean, we both struggled. Maybe he struggled a bit more, in a period, end of the second set, entire third set. That's where I think I managed to get on top of him, get even on sets, obviously start off well in the third.

"At times we were both just trying to get a little bit of extra breath, a few seconds more, so we can recover. We were also getting into some long exchanges and rallies. That's what happens when we play each other.

"I think there are certain days where you just have to, as a tournament supervisor, recognise that you might need to give players few extra hours until it comes down. I understand there is a factor of tickets. If you don't play matches, people will be unhappy. You have to take into consideration different angles before making a big call like that."

The Australian Open has refused to cave in to pressure to renege on their extreme heat policy, which sees the roof at the Rod Laver Arena and Margaret Court Arena closed when temperatures reach 40 degrees or higher. Until then it is at the match referee's discretion.

Friday (19 January) is expected to see temperatures reach 43 degrees, with the likes of Grigor Dimitrov, Elina Svitolina, Kyle Edmund and the Bryan brothers all scheduled to be in action during the heat of the day.