Coco Gauff and Aryna Sabalenka will meet in a rematch of the US Open final on Thursday for a place in the Australian Open trophy decider.

While seeds have fallen around them, Gauff and Sabalenka have made it through to the last four for what feels like a de facto final.

Fourth seed Gauff survived her first test of the tournament, needing three hours and eight minutes to defeat unseeded Ukrainian Marta Kostyuk 7-6 (6) 6-7 (3) 6-2.

Defending champion Sabalenka, though, continued her record of not having dropped more than three games in a set with a swift 6-2 6-3 win against ninth seed Barbora Krejcikova.

The start of the night session was delayed by more than two hours because of long matches in the day, but that did not affect Sabalenka, who said: “I think it was really a great match today, I think I played really great tennis and I hope I can keep playing that way or even better.”

The Belarusian lifted her first slam trophy here last year and has been the most consistent female player on the big stage, reaching at least the semi-finals at every major since.

She was favourite to win another title in New York but Gauff turned the tables after losing the first set to claim a 2-6 6-3 6-2 triumph and lift her first slam trophy.

The 19-year-old American is through to the last four here for the first time, but it was a real struggle, with Gauff and Kostyuk committing 107 unforced errors between them.

Gauff trailed 5-1 in the opening set before fighting back to win it, saving two set points.

She served for the match at 5-3 in the second set but now it was Kostyuk’s turn to surge back, and it was not until the third set that Gauff took control of the match, opening up a 5-0 lead.

The teenager is the youngest American to reach the women’s semi-finals in Melbourne since Mary Joe Fernandez back in 1991, and she is two wins away from making it back-to-back slam titles.

“It was a fight,” said Gauff. “I think today was definitely a C game, so I didn’t play my best tennis, but I’m really proud that I was able to get through today’s match. Hopefully got the bad match out of the way and I can play even better.”

Kostyuk, 21, was immediately able to put the result into perspective, saying: “I think it’s just a tennis match. I’m here to grow, to learn, to be better.

“I’m very proud of myself. I won for myself today, and I think it’s the most important thing. It’s just the beginning of the season. I’m looking forward for what’s ahead.”

Kostyuk and countrywoman Dayana Yastremska both made the last eight – Yastremska may yet go further – while Elina Svitolina reached the fourth round, and all have used the opportunity to highlight the ongoing plight of Ukraine.

“I think the girls did really well,” said Kostyuk. “I hope we will be able to succeed in most of the tournaments, especially the big ones where there is a lot of media. I think people should be reminded.

“I was texting with some people from Kyiv. I said, ‘How is it? How are you guys?’ They said, ‘Well, we were looking between your score and where the missiles are flying’. So it’s still there. My parents are still there. My sister is still there.”

Novak Djokovic fought off a strong challenge from Taylor Fritz to reach the Australian Open semi-finals for the 11th time.

The world number one has never lost in Melbourne once he has made it beyond the last eight, and there is no doubt how much he wants a 25th grand-slam title.

Djokovic had beaten American Fritz in all eight of their previous meetings but this was certainly not straightforward, with the top seed finally securing a 7-6 (3) 4-6 6-2 6-3 victory after three hours and 45 minutes.

The first game alone lasted 16 minutes and the first set 84 minutes as they toiled in the heat on Rod Laver Arena.

Fritz, looking to reach a slam semi-final for the first time at the third attempt, remarkably saved all 15 break points he faced in the opening two sets, and he impressively levelled the contest.

It was just the third set he had won against the Serbian, with the other two both coming in a third-round clash here in 2021, when Djokovic suffered an abdominal injury but still managed to win in five.

But Djokovic began to turn the screw in the third set as Fritz started to feel his left foot, and successive breaks in the fourth set him on the way to a record-extending 48th slam semi-final.

Speaking to Nick Kyrgios on court, Djokovic said: “I suffered a lot in the first couple of sets. Also due to his high quality tennis. He was really kind of suffocating me from the back of the court.

“It was really difficult to find the right timing, it was really hot while the sun was still out. We all know Taylor has got one of the best serves in the world. I knew the kind of a threat he poses when he serves on such a high quality.

“Conversion of the break points was really poor but I managed to break him when it mattered. I think I upped my game midway through the third set all the way through to the end.”

Coco Gauff came through a three-hour battle with Ukraine’s Marta Kostyuk to reach the semi-finals of the Australian Open for the first time.

The US Open champion had cruised through to the last eight but was pushed very hard by first-time grand slam quarter-finalist Kostyuk before clinching a 7-6 (6) 6-7 (3) 6-2 victory after three hours and eight minutes.

Gauff trailed 5-1 in the opening set before fighting back to win it, saving two set points.

She served for the match at 5-3 in the second set but now it was Kostyuk’s turn to surge back, and it was not until the third set that Gauff took control of the match, opening up a 5-0 lead.

The 19-year-old is the youngest American to reach the women’s semi-finals in Melbourne since Mary Joe Fernandez back in 1991, and she is now two wins away from making it back-to-back slam titles.

If she is to achieve that, she will surely need to play at a consistently higher level than here, with the pair making a combined 107 unforced errors.

A blockbuster set of men’s quarter-finals awaits at the Australian Open after Carlos Alcaraz led the favourites into the last eight on Monday.

In complete contrast to the women’s draw, all of the top six seeds have made it through, while Taylor Fritz, at 12, is the lowest-ranked player still left in the tournament.

Alcaraz rated his performance against Miomir Kecmanovic as almost perfect, the second seed hitting 43 winners in a 6-4 6-4 6-0 victory on Rod Laver Arena.

If he can maintain the same level through the next six days, he will fancy his chances of possibly beating another Serbian on the same court on Sunday.

Alcaraz missed last year’s tournament with a leg injury but has dropped only one set so far on his way through to a first quarter-final in Melbourne.

Asked what worked well, the second seed said with a grin: “I think everything. I did everything almost perfectly.

“I pushed him to the limit in every ball, in every point. Obviously he has played a lot of matches in five sets, a lot of tough matches, so probably physically he was not at his 100 per cent.

“I’m feeling better and better every day. Every match I’ve played here in Rod Laver I’ve been feeling more comfortable.”

Alcaraz will next take on sixth seed Alexander Zverev, who survived a deciding fifth-set tie-break for the second time in four rounds to make it past Cameron Norrie.

Third seed Daniil Medvedev and ninth seed Hubert Hurkacz were up against the only real surprise packages of the fourth round in Nuno Borges and Arthur Cazaux, respectively.

Medvedev had a wobble against 69th-ranked Borges, the first Portuguese player to make the fourth round here, in the third set, losing five games in a row from 5-2.

But he regrouped in the fourth to claim a 6-3 7-6 (4) 5-7 6-1 victory and reach the last eight for the third time in the last four years.

Former US Open champion Medvedev has not been talked about as much as Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner as a potential challenger to Novak Djokovic, but the Russian, who lost in the final here in 2021 and 2022 and won in New York last year, is happy to blow his own trumpet.

“I know what I’m worth,” he said. “I know how good I can play. I proved it in the US Open, especially for myself, playing some tough opponents, in my opinion, game style-wise. I managed to beat them.

“I’m ready. Hopefully I can show it on the tennis court. We can talk forever who is ready, who is favourite. You need to win.”

Hurkacz ended the run of French wild card Cazaux, coming from a break down in the opening set to win 7-6 (6) 7-6 (3) 6-4 and reach the last eight at a slam for just the second time, while he is the first Polish man to make the quarter-finals here.

Cameron Norrie suffered an agonising end to his Australian Open run as he was pipped in a fifth-set tie-break by Alexander Zverev after a terrific fourth-round tussle.

The British number one broke new ground with a brilliant attacking display to defeat Casper Ruud on Saturday and again showed the new dimensions he has added to his game to push the sixth seed all the way.

Norrie, who had not won a set in their four previous meetings, twice came from behind to force a decider but it is Zverev who moves through to the quarter-finals after a 7-5 3-6 6-3 4-6 7-6 (10/3) victory.

Norrie will leave Australia, though, knowing that he can mix it with the best players in the world on the biggest stage and with confidence fully restored after a shaky second half of last season.

The match was briefly interrupted in the third set by a protester, who threw ‘Free Palestine’ flyers onto the court from the front row of Margaret Court Arena before being forcibly escorted away by two spectators.

The scenes were reminiscent of Wimbledon last summer, when Just Stop Oil protesters threw jigsaw pieces and confetti onto the court during two matches, although the leaflets were swiftly cleared here and play quickly resumed.

Norrie’s tactics against Ruud came as no surprise to Zverev, who spent the off-season practising with the British number one in Monte-Carlo.

There were few rallies of any kind in the first set, with serve dominating until Norrie, who was trying to beat a top-10 opponent at a slam for the first time, was broken at 5-5.

Zverev immediately came under pressure on serve for the first time but saved a break point with a forehand onto the line, and looked to have taken control of the contest when he broke again to lead 3-2 in the second.

However, Norrie played what must be one of the best returning games of his career to hit straight back, finishing it off with a zinging backhand cross-court winner.

And Norrie was not finished there, the 28-year-old showing his new-found aggression and willingness to mix up his tactics to pile more pressure on Zverev in his next service game.

The German saved two break points but then mis-hit a forehand on the third and suddenly Norrie was serving for the set.

It was far from straightforward for the 19th seed but he saved four break points before taking it, fortuitously, when a forehand hit the top of the net and dropped over.

A poor service game at 1-2 in the third set was enough for Zverev to take it and though Norrie pushed hard at the beginning of the fourth set, Zverev managed to save two break points in the second game.

However, the Olympic champion was powerless to stop Norrie forcing a decider, the 28-year-old creating two set points at 4-5 and taking the first with a delicate half-volley.

Norrie was managing to bully Zverev, one of the most powerful players on tour, at times from the baseline, while his drop shots and short angled slices kept the German guessing.

They exchanged breaks of serve at the start of the fifth set while Norrie survived a tense game at 3-3, saving three more break points.

Both men managed to hold serve through to a first-to-10-points tie-break but there Norrie’s resistance ran out, with Zverev clinching the win after four hours and five minutes to end British interest in the singles.

A tearful Elina Svitolina was forced to retire with a back injury only three games into her fourth-round clash with Linda Noskova at the Australian Open.

The former world number three, who has made a very impressive return following the birth of daughter Skai last year, appeared the favourite to make the final from a wide open top half of the draw.

But her back locked up in the first game of the match and she sobbed as she called it a day trailing 3-0.

She said: “This one I think I never had that before, the shooting pain like this. I had some injuries to my back before where it just was tiredness the next day of the match, but this one was really out of nowhere. I felt like someone shot me in the back.”

Svitolina, who reached the semi-finals of Wimbledon last summer, did not want to think about what might have been, saying: “I cannot say that this was an open draw in a way.

“If you take other players, they are meant to be there. You have also in the other side of the draw very strong players who won slams and played really consistent throughout the year last year.

“So I don’t want to look this as a missed opportunity, especially right now when it was not about my tennis today.”

Having beaten Iga Swiatek in the third round, 19-year-old Noskova is now through to her first grand slam quarter-final, where she will take on another Ukrainian in Dayana Yastremska.

She saved two set points in the opening set and then came from 3-0 down in the second to beat two-time former champion Victoria Azarenka 7-6 (6) 6-4, powering 38 winners.

Yastremska was ranked as high as 21 in 2020 but had not won a slam match since serving a provisional doping suspension the following year and had to come through qualifying here.

The 23-year-old tested positive for the synthetic testosterone mesterolone and missed nearly six months of competition before it was decided she bore no fault or negligence and was therefore free to compete again.

Yastremska is the second Ukrainian through to the last eight after Marta Kostyuk, and Svitolina will be cheering on her countrywomen.

“Of course I’ve been following that we all have been playing really well,” she said. “At the beginning of the tournament, seven Ukrainians in the main draw, and going that far so many of us, it’s nice in the second week as well.

“It’s great for Ukrainian tennis. Of course, now I feel very old because of my health, but I’m happy that they are doing great. It’s great for Ukrainian tennis. It’s great for the upcoming generation as well, especially now these days when Ukraine is in such a tough time.”

Defending champions Novak Djokovic and Aryna Sabalenka cruised into the quarter-finals of the Australian Open.

Djokovic was on course for a ‘triple bagel’ against Adrian Mannarino before eventually winning 6-0 6-0 6-3 while Sabalenka was a 6-3 6-2 winner over Amanda Anisimova.

Sabalenka appears very likely to face Coco Gauff in the semi-finals, while Australian hopes were ended when Andrey Rublev defeated Alex De Minaur in five sets.

Picture of the dayShot of the dayKicking offNext gen

Cruz Hewitt, the 15-year-old son of former world number one Lleyton, was beaten on his junior grand slam debut. But 16-year-old Jagger Leach, whose mother is three-time major champion Lindsay Davenport, did make it through to round two.

Murray magic


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Fallen seeds

Women: None
Men: Stefanos Tsitsipas (7), Karen Khachanov (15), Adrian Mannarino (20)

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Cameron Norrie will bid for a first victory over a top-10 player at a grand slam when he takes on sixth seed Alexander Zverev on Margaret Court Arena on Monday.

The winner will face either second seed Carlos Alcaraz or Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic, who meet in the night session, while third seed Daniil Medvedev plays Portugal’s Nuno Borges.

After beating Iga Swiatek, teenager Linda Noskova plays Elina Svitolina, and 12th seed Zheng Qinwen plays two-time former champion Victoria Azarenka.

Britain’s Hannah Klugman is looking to follow in the footsteps of teen sensation Mirra Andreeva at the Australian Open.

Sixteen-year-old Andreeva lost in the junior final 12 months ago but beat Ons Jabeur on Rod Laver Arena on her way to the fourth round of the women’s singles in Melbourne before losing to Barbora Krejcikova.

Klugman, from Wimbledon, does not turn 15 until next month but she is already ranked seventh in the junior game and has been attracting attention well beyond British shores.


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In December, she became the first British girl to win the prestigious under-18 Orange Bowl title in Florida, whose former champions include Coco Gauff, Caroline Wozniacki and Chris Evert.

“I went into the week with not much expectations,” said Klugman. “I wasn’t playing that great. I went into Orange Bowl with a fresh mind and really played some great tennis.

“It was amazing. I was walking past a poster with all the winners. There’s some pretty amazing people on there. So it’s great.

“Nothing’s massively changed. But, obviously, I think I have more confidence in myself. I know I can do it, I have the level. I’ve just got to bring it to the court. I want to go deep this week.”

Klugman described winning a junior grand slam title as a “massive goal” but preparing her for the senior game is the main focus.

The teenager has a powerful forehand and serve, which reached 113mph during a first-round win over Antonia Vergara Rivera in the girls’ singles on Sunday.

Age restrictions designed to prevent the kind of teenage burnout seen in the women’s game in previous decades mean Klugman is heavily restricted in the number of senior tournaments she can play – only 10 in a year even once she turns 15.

But her ranking is already in the top 700 and Andreeva’s rapid rise provides inspiration.


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“It’s not that far away,” said Klugman. “People think it’s quite far away, but it’s actually not. She was here this time last year and a lot can change really quickly.

“I don’t think some people would have said it would happen that quickly and now she’s in the fourth round here. It’s crazy.

“It definitely gives me a lot of confidence and trust in myself that, if I keep working hard every day, I can do it.

“I think I play a bit similar to her. She changes the pace. She doesn’t hit like crazy. I think that’s what I do.”

There is a great deal of excitement within British tennis about the potential of Klugman, who was given a wild card into Wimbledon qualifying last summer and could well be in line for a shot at the main draw this time.

She insisted she is in no hurry, saying: “It’s such a great honour to even get a qualies wild card. So I honestly don’t mind if it’s really far into the future.”

Unlike Emma Raducanu, who stayed in school to complete her A Levels, Klugman has just left Wimbledon High School and switched to online learning.

Asked if she would miss it, Klugman, who is also a talented hockey player, said: “Massively, but I’ll definitely keep in touch with my friends.

“I want to do well in my GCSEs. I want to get a good education. So it’s tough to be juggling all that when you’re away in Australia. I know I will have to be disciplined, but I know I can do it.”

Cameron Norrie’s new attacking game style against Casper Ruud came as a surprise to many, but not to his next opponent Alexander Zverev.

The British number one eschewed his usual grinding baseline game, making frequent forays to the net, and his reward was the best grand slam victory of his career.

Through to the fourth round of the Australian Open for the first time, Norrie will try to break more new ground with victory over a top 10 player at a major.


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Zverev had a sneak peek at Norrie’s new tactics when they trained together during pre-season and the German said: “I actually thought he played exactly what he was working on in the off-season.

“We obviously spent the off-season together in Monaco, so I’ve seen him every single day. This is exactly what he was working on.”

He continued: “When you think of Cameron Norrie, you normally think of somebody who grinds a lot, a big fighter. But in the off-season he really worked on his game and he really worked on the aggressive style of play. He really worked on coming forward.

“It was very noticeable in December, and you can see it on the court now. The work is paying off for him.”

Norrie moved to Monte Carlo in 2022, partly because it would mean being able to train with some of the best players in the world, while he hired a new assistant coach in former Wimbledon doubles champion Stephen Huss.

Having struggled during the second half of last season, Norrie appears rejuvenated and he said: “Even just being in the second week for the first time in Australia, never done that. It means a lot to do that and start the year playing some good tennis.

“I think it just helped having a good break and a really good off-season to put a lot of time on the court and get better as a player.

“I think it just comes down to how can you play the biggest points the best and feeling calm and feeling good about yourself. I have done that, and I was feeling that coming into the season.

“I want to keep going. I know it just gets tougher. Next match is going to be tougher.”

Norrie will certainly have to adjust the game plan for his clash with sixth-ranked Zverev, who has made a strong return to the top of the sport following a serious ankle injury in 2022.

The British number one relentlessly attacked Ruud’s backhand but Zverev has one of the best in the business, while putting the German under pressure on serve will be a challenge.

Much of the attention on Zverev this fortnight has been regarding his forthcoming court case to contest domestic abuse charges, which he denies, but whatever the rights and wrongs of his position on the ATP Player Council or continued participation on the tour, he remains an exceptional player.

He has beaten Norrie on each of the four previous occasions they have played without dropping a set.

“I sat down with (coach) Facu (Lugones) and watched the matches with Casper back, and we talked a lot about what wasn’t working,” said Norrie, who had also lost three times to Ruud prior to Saturday’s victory.

“I think there will be a lot of things in there with Zverev. The last few times I have played him, it’s kind of been a similar match every time, a tough set and then he’s run away with it.”

Zverev is taking nothing for granted, saying of Norrie: “He’s playing great tennis, beating Casper. I think Casper was undefeated in Australia so far this year, also playing great tennis. I’m looking forward to a tough match.

“I think everybody is always improving. Everybody is always trying new things. I think with Cam this year, you definitely see that. I’m just going to try to keep going for it and just try to extend my lead.”

Novak Djokovic equalled Roger Federer’s record by reaching a 58th grand slam quarter-final in style at the Australian Open.

It appeared the world number one might do so by becoming the first player to claim a ‘triple bagel’ victory at the tournament when he won the first 13 games against Adrian Mannarino.

The Frenchman looked hugely relieved when he finally got on the board in the second game of the third set but Djokovic, playing in his 73rd major tournament, eased to a 6-0 6-0 6-3 victory.

Having started the tournament battling illness and surviving two long matches, Djokovic is now looking in ominous form, although he still became riled by the crowd at times.

“The best sets I’ve played in a while,” the Serbian said afterwards. “I really wanted to lose that game in the third set because the tension was building up so much in the stadium. I needed to get that out of the way and refocus on what I needed to do to finish the match.

“I served very well. In the moments when I needed to come up with the first serve, I did. All in all, great performance.

“The last couple of days has been really good so it’s going in a positive direction health wise, tennis wise, so I’m really happy.”

Aryna Sabalenka and Coco Gauff restored order at the Australian Open by easing into the quarter-finals.

While Iga Swiatek’s shock loss to Linda Noskova on Saturday means no top-10 seeds made the fourth round in the top half of the draw, Sabalenka and Gauff are on a semi-final collision course in the bottom half.

Neither has yet dropped a set and they lost only eight games between them in the fourth round, Sabalenka beating Amanda Anisimova 6-3 6-2 and Gauff racing to a 6-1 6-2 victory over Magdalena Frech.

It was a particularly impressive win and performance from defending champion Sabalenka, who had lost four of her previous five matches against Anisimova.

The 22-year-old American has been resurgent here having missed most of last season for mental health reasons but could not match the precision power of her opponent.

Anisimova reacted to the defeat by dropping her racket on the court and leaving it there as she walked off Margaret Court Arena.

“I’m super happy with the level, happy to get this win,” said Sabalenka. “She’s a tough opponent and I’m super happy to see her back on tour. I’m pretty sure she’ll be back at the top soon.

“I really want to stay here as long as I can until the very last day and, hopefully, we can get this one one more time.”

Gauff is treading new ground having made it through to the last eight at Melbourne Park for the first time.

“I’m super happy to be in this position and be here,” said the 19-year-old. “I think I had three fourth rounds. It’s cool to get over that hump. Hopefully I can keep going for more.”

Next she will take on Ukraine’s Marta Kostyuk, who made the last eight at a slam for the first time with a 6-2 6-1 victory over qualifier Maria Timofeeva.

Novak Djokovic avoided his struggles of the first two rounds in a straight-sets win over Tomas Martin Etcheverry at the Australian Open on Friday.

His fellow defending champion, Aryna Sabalenka, routed Lesia Tsurenko 6-0 6-0 while 16-year-old Mirra Andreeva recovered from 5-1 down in the deciding set to beat Diane Parry.

It was generally a good day for the big names, with Coco Gauff, Jannik Sinner and Stefanos Tsitsipas also winning.

Picture of the dayTweet of the dayRod back in his houseOutfit of the dayFallen seeds

Women: Beatriz Haddad Maia (10), Lesia Tsurenko (28)

Men: Ben Shelton (16), Sebastian Baez (26), Sebastian Korda (29), Tomas Martin Etcheverry (30)

Who’s up next?


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Britain’s final singles hope, Cameron Norrie, takes on Casper Ruud for a place in the fourth round.

Chinese players take centre stage in the day on Rod Laver Arena, with Zheng Qinwen meeting Wang Yafan before Shang Juncheng faces Carlos Alcaraz.

Iga Swiatek is first up in the night session against Czech teenager Linda Noskova, while Daniil Medvedev meets Felix Auger-Aliassime.

Novak Djokovic found his form at the Australian Open in a straightforward win over Tomas Martin Etcheverry.

The 10-time champion has been struggling with illness and was well short of his best in his first two matches, particularly a second-round clash with Alexei Popyrin on Wednesday that he was lucky to escape.

But Djokovic, playing his 100th match at Melbourne Park, looked much more like his usual self in a 6-3 6-3 7-6 (2) victory over Argentina’s Etcheverry, who beat Andy Murray in the first round.

The Serbian was hitting his groundstrokes with their customary ferocity again and, although there were perhaps still a few more mistakes than he would have liked, he was always fully in control of his 92nd win on these grounds.

Djokovic said: “It was a great match, the best performance I had during this tournament. I’m pleased with the way I played throughout the entire match, particularly the first two sets.”

The form players of the first week have been fourth seed Jannik Sinner and big home hope Alex De Minaur.

Sinner finished last season beating Djokovic twice in one day as he led Italy to the Davis Cup title and has eased through to the fourth round here.

He dropped just four games in a 6-0 6-1 6-3 destruction of Sebastian Baez to set up a meeting with Russian Karen Khachanov, who was a semi-finalist here last year.

Sinner said: “Today’s match was really good. I played good tennis. I love the conditions also today, because was no wind and no sun.

“I felt great… I made the right decisions and I used every chance I had today, which maybe in the first match I was struggling a little bit. But it’s good to have this match feeling back again. I’m very excited to step on the court every time.

“I’m doing my job. I try to stay focused. I try to find a solution against every player I play. The next round is going to be different, it’s going to be tough.”

Khachanov, who has reached at least the quarter-finals at three of his last four slams, had a tougher time in beating Tomas Machac 6-4 7-6 (4) 4-6 7-6 (5).

De Minaur’s rise into the top 10 just before the tournament fuelled hopes of a first home winner of the men’s singles since Mark Edmondson in 1976, and he has dealt with the pressure immaculately so far.

The 24-year-old had no trouble getting past Italian qualifier Flavio Cobolli, dropping only seven games in a 6-3 6-3 6-1 victory.

Last year’s runner-up Stefanos Tsitsipas also had a comfortable afternoon, beating young Frenchman Luca Van Assche 6-3 6-0 6-4 to set up a clash with American 12th seed Taylor Fritz, who came from a set down to see off Fabian Marozsan 3-6 6-4 6-2 6-2.

Cameron Norrie will have to break new ground in two ways if he is to keep British singles hopes alive at the Australian Open.

The 19th seed is the only British player to have reached round three but he has never been further at Melbourne Park, while he has lost all three previous matches against opponent Casper Ruud.

Indeed, Norrie has managed just one set, at the ATP Finals in 2021, while Norwegian Ruud also came out on top in meetings in Miami and San Diego.


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“He’s beaten me a few times in some really big matches,” said Norrie. “I’m going to look at those matches and see where I can improve.

“I think a lot of the time was down to execution and him staying a bit calmer than me in the bigger moments. Every time I played him, he served really, really well. I think his serve is quite underrated.

“I didn’t actually get a chance to watch one point of his (second-round) match, but I heard it was really high level from both. I’m looking forward to watching that one and then watching my previous matches with him to see what I can improve on and what I can do to make him uncomfortable out there.”

Both Norrie and Ruud survived five-set encounters on Thursday, with the British number one putting wrist pain out of his mind to come from two sets down to beat Giulio Zeppieri.

Ruud, meanwhile, prevailed in a deciding tie-break against Australia’s Max Purcell to make it to the last 32 in Melbourne for the second time.

He was ranked number two in the world after reaching his second grand slam final of the season at the US Open in 2022 but, despite getting to the same stage again at Roland Garros last year, he has slipped to 11th.

The 25-year-old is yet to lose so far this season, though, winning all his matches at the United Cup earlier this month, and he hopes he still has the winning formula against Norrie.

“He’s a tough competitor, for sure,” said Ruud. “He’s raising his level the past three, four years.

“He has a cool story. Came from college, took it to the next step from there. He’s a great player. I need to be on top of my game if I want to hang in there with him.

“I have played him a few times before, been able to beat him before. I know what has given me the win. He will try to seek revenge and find a way to beat me.

“It’s going to be a tough one. In a way we’re both in a similar situation, we had a tough five-setter.”

Sixteen-year-old Mirra Andreeva made her latest statement with a miracle comeback to reach the fourth round of the Australian Open – but that was topped by knowing Andy Murray was watching her.

Andreeva and Murray interacted after the Russian teenager spoke of her admiration for the former world number one at her breakthrough tournament in Madrid last spring, describing him as “beautiful”.

And Murray was up early back home in the UK following Andreeva’s progress as she took on France’s Diane Parry.

The teenager’s run looked poised to end when she trailed 5-1 in the third set and struggled to hold back tears, but Andreeva kept fighting and saved a match point on her way to a 1-6 6-1 7-6 (10/5) victory.

Afterwards, Murray wrote on the social media site X, formerly Twitter: “Andreeva down 5-1 in third. Commentator “she really needs to work on mental side of her game.. she’s too hard on herself when she’s losing” 30 minutes later 7-6 Andreeva wins.

“Maybe the reason she turned the match round is because of her mental strength. Maybe she turned the match around because she is hard on herself and demands more of herself when she’s losing/playing badly? Winner.”

Andreeva was delighted by Murray’s attention, saying: “I didn’t really think that he would watch a match, then after he would tweet, he would comment something.

“Honestly, I will try to print it out somehow. I don’t know, I will put it in a frame. I will bring it everywhere with me. I will maybe put it on the wall so I can see it every day.”

It is the second time Andreeva, who was beaten in the junior final here 12 months ago, has reached the fourth round at a slam after Wimbledon last year and she is closing in on the top 30 in the rankings despite being restricted to 12 tournaments a year because of her age.

She showed all the skills that make her the most exciting young talent in the world to turn around the deciding set, dragging Parry all around the court with her use of angles and showing deft touch on drop shots and lobs.

“Because I won the last time I played her, I had kind of an advantage,” said Andreeva. “I felt like that maybe I should win because I won pretty easy on the score.

“When you think like this, it always happens like 1-6 in the first set. Then I just decided fight, to win one game at a time.

“Maybe being harsh on myself actually helped me. I just try to think positively. This harshness, let’s say, helped me with it because I am not very positive in my head usually. I just kept pushing myself. I was saying not good words to myself.”

A number of upsets have left the women’s draw very open in places, although Andreeva would probably have to get past defending champion Aryna Sabalenka in the quarter-finals if she wants to reach the final stages.

“I don’t think it’s a big deal,” she said of her wins so far. “Fourth round, yes, I’m 16, maybe it’s a bit new.

“Fourth round is nothing. Maybe if I win a slam, I have to win three more matches, and it’s really tough to win seven matches in a row. I don’t think that I did something incredible. I have time to do it, I hope.”

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