The latest: Tsitsipas and Fritz will meet next at the Australian Open
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — The latest at the Australian Open on Saturday (all times local):
Fourth-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas held off Benoit Paire 6-3, 7-5, 6-7(2), 6-4 to advance to a fourth-round match against Taylor Fritz at the Australian Open.
Tsitsipas was a runner-up at the French Open and reached the Australian Open semi-finals last year.
Fritz, seeded No. 20, earned a 6-0, 3-6, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 victory over No. 15 Roberto Bautista Agut to reach the fourth round of a tournament Grand Slam for the first time.
The 24-year-old American, playing in his sixth Australian Open and 22nd major overall, has recorded just his second win and seven one-on-one encounters with 33-year-old Spaniard Bautista Agut.
Maxime Cressy, another 24-year-old American, is in the fourth round of a major tournament for the first time.
Cressy, ranked at No. 70, beat Australian Chris O’Connell 6-2, 6-7(6), 6-3, 6-2 and next faces US Open champion Daniil Medvedev.
No. 9 Felix Auger-Aliassime cruised to a 6-4, 6-1, 6-1 win over No. 24 Dan Evans, winning 14 of the last 16 after going 4-4 in the first set.
Daniil Medvedev didn’t pay attention to the crowd’s reaction this time. Medvedev, ranked No. 2, cruised to a 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 win over Botic Van de Zandschulp in the third round, two days after a tough second-round win over Nick Kyrgios.
The US Open champion was unsettled by boos and jeers when he took on one of the home favorites but had no such worries on Margaret Court Arena as he progressed to the fourth round for the fourth consecutive year in Australia.
“I’ll put it this way. It’s easier to play a guy from the Netherlands than an Australian guy in Australia, in Melbourne,” he told the crowd, before giving some relationship advice to the fans. “Any good relationship has its ups and downs. I hope there will be more good times than bad times, otherwise it doesn’t work.”
Medvedev, finalist in 2021, will then face the American Maxime Cressy or the Australian Chris O’Connell.
Second-seeded Aryna Sabalenka advanced to the fourth round of the Australian Open with a 4-6, 6-3, 6-1 win over 31st-placed Marketa Vondrousova.
The match started ominously for Sabalenka when she double faulted twice and was broken in the opener.
But unlike her second-round match, when she committed nine double faults in her first two service games and 19 in the match, Sabalenka reduced that glaring match stat to 10.
“I’m really happy right now – especially I’m happy to have only committed 10 double faults,” Sabalenka said with a laugh during her TV interview on the pitch.
Sabalenka had a big serve catch in the fourth game of the third set, a game that lasted around eight minutes and then remained in control for the rest of the game.
Sabalenka, a two-time major semi-finalist, admitted she had “had some issues” recently with her serve, but added: “I will continue to work on the serve and hopefully it will improve with each game. “
She will next face No. 115-ranked Kaia Kanepi, who beat Maddison Inglis 2-6, 6-2, 6-0. Kanepi has reached the quarter-finals six times at Grand Slam events but never reached the last eight at the Australian Open.
Two-time Grand Slam champion Simona Halep is in Week 2 at Melbourne Park for the fifth consecutive year.
14th-seeded Halep advanced with a 6-2, 6-1 victory over Danka Kovinic, a 98th-seeded player who knocked out US Open champion Emma Raducanu in the previous round.
It was Kovinic’s first appearance in the third round of a major tournament.
Halep, on the other hand, can count on a wealth of experience in the latter stages of the sport’s biggest events. She won the French Open in 2018 and Wimbledon in 2019 and advanced to the 2018 Australian Open final before losing to Caroline Wozniacki.
None of the other remaining players in the women’s roster have won as many tour-level titles as Halep’s 23.
Halep’s next opponent will be Alize Cornet, who celebrated her 32nd birthday with a 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 win over No. 29 Tamara Zidansek, the 2021 French Open semi-finalist.
Cornet followed up her upset at No. 3 Garbiñe Muguruza by reaching the fourth round of the Australian Open for the first time since 2009.
In another third-round match that ended on Saturday afternoon, 27th-seeded American Danielle Collins came from within a set and a break to beat Clara Tauson, 19, 4-6 , 6-4, 7-5.
Tauson was the last teenager remaining in either singles bracket.
Play started on Day 6 of the Australian Open and the temperature is expected to reach 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 Celsius) by the end of the third round.
US Open champion Daniil Medvedev will be looking to make progress in his bid to become the first man to win his second Grand Slam title at the major tournament immediately following his first such triumph.
Medvedev was a runner-up at Melbourne Park in 2021 and is the No. 2 seed this time around. He might as well have a number 1 next to his name, as top-ranked Novak Djokovic has never played a point this year after failing in his attempt to enter the pitch when he was not was not vaccinated against COVID-19.
Medvedev will face 57th-placed Botic van de Zandschulp on Saturday at Rod Laver Arena.
Other matches include No. 4 Stefanos Tsitsipas against Benoit Paire and No. 5 Andrey Rublev against 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic.
Two-time major champion Simona Halep plays against Danka Kovinic, and 2020 French Open winner Iga Swiatek takes on Daria Kasatkina.
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