World number one Iga Swiatek was knocked out of the Australian Open in straight sets in the fourth round by Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina on Sunday.

The reigning US Open and French Open winner could not handle Rybakina's outstanding serve, with the Kazakh triumphing 6-4 6-4 in one hour and 30 minutes on Rod Laver Arena.

Rybakina won 80 per cent of first-serve points, including sending down six aces, while she broke Swiatek four times throughout the match.

Swiatek's elimination means the top-two seeds in both the women's and men's singles are out, with Ons Jabeur losing in the second round.

Title favourite Swiatek had routed Cristina Bucsa in 55 minutes in Friday's third-round win but she was broken immediately on Sunday by 23-year-old Rykabina, who offered a different threat.

"It was a really tough match," Rybakina said during her on-court interview after the match. "I really respect Iga. Today I think I was serving so good. In the end, I think in the important moments I played really well. I think that was the difference."

Swiatek did respond after Rybakina's early break by squaring up the first set at 2-2, but the Kazakh re-claimed her lead for 4-3, before serving to love to clinch the opening frame.

The 21-year-old Pole seemed outclassed in the 42-minute first set, but responded immediately in the second, racing to a 3-0 lead, only for Rybakina to hit back again to get it back on serve.

Rybakina failed to convert two break points at 15-40 in the ninth game but capitalised on her third opportunity, before serving out for victory, including another big ace at 30-0.

Data slam: Swiatek's grand slam dominance halted

Swiatek had not dropped a set all tournament, prior to losing the opening frame to Rybakina. In fact, the Pole had lost only two sets in her past 10 grand slam matches, dating back to her 2022 US Open triumph. Including her 2022 French Open title, she had only dropped five sets in her previous 19 grand slam matches.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Swiatek – 15/14
Rybakina – 24/25

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Swiatek – 2/1
Rybakina – 6/1

BREAK POINTS WON

Swiatek – 2/4
Rybakina – 4/6

Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic have called for changes to the Australian Open schedule after several late finishes in Melbourne.

Three-time grand slam champion Murray bowed out of the season's opening major on Saturday following a four-set defeat by Roberto Bautista Agut in round three.

The 35-year-old arrived in the clash having already spent over 10 hours on court across his victories over Matteo Berrettini and Thanasi Kokkinakis.

Murray's 4:05am local time finish in the latter match was the third-latest in tennis history after he recovered from two sets down to deny the home favourite in a thrilling clash that took five hours and 45 minutes to settle.

The Briton subsequently voiced his concerns with scheduling, which tournament director Craig Tiley has no plans to change.

He reiterated those worries after defeat by number 24 seed Bautista Agut, suggesting the Australian Open could follow the trend set by another of the sport's major events.

"I'm sure if you went and spoke to some sleep experts and sports scientists – the people that actually really know what's important for athletes to recover – they would tell you that sleep is the number one thing, that that's the most important thing," he said.

"Finishing matches at four in the morning isn't good for the players. I would also argue it's not good for the sport, anyone involved in it. I do think there's some quite simple things that can be done to change that.

"I think the US Open went to playing two matches in the day session. That would stop the day matches running into the night session starting too late.

"I think that's quite a simple one that you could look at. You'd still get quality matches during the day. The people who bought ground passes would get to see more of the top players, which would be excellent for them.

"I think if you did that, you could also potentially bring the night sessions slightly earlier, as well, like 6:00 or 6:30. That time, those few hours, can make a difference to the players."

Nine-time Melbourne champion Djokovic, who overcame injury to defeat Grigor Dimitrov in straight sets, concurred with Murray.

"I think that players' input is always important for tournament organisation. Whether it's decisive, we know that it's not, because it comes down to what the TV broadcasters want to have," Djokovic said. "That's the ultimate decision maker.

"I would agree with [Murray's] points. I think we have days when the day sessions go longer, but probably more days statistically in average where they finish – say five, six max – and you can start the night session an hour earlier at least.

"For the crowd, it's entertaining, it's exciting. For us, it's really gruelling. Even if you go through and win, prevail in these matches, you still have to come back.

"You have your sleeping cycle, rhythm disrupted completely, not enough time really to recover for another five-setter. Something needs to be addressed in terms of the schedule after what we've seen this year."

Magda Linette made it through to the fourth round of a grand slam for the first time after she beat Ekaterina Alexandrova 6-3 6-4 at the Australian Open.

The result, paired with Iga Swiatek's third-round win on Friday, also means that two Polish female players are through to a grand slam fourth round for the first time in the Open Era since 2008, when Marta Domachowska and Agnieszka Radwanska both reached the same stage of the same tournament.

Indeed, Linette also became just the fourth female Polish player to reach the last 16 at a grand slam in the Open Era after Domachowska, Radwanska and the current world number one Swiatek.

Linette – who had lost each of her previous six grand slam third-round matches – recovered from a break down in the first set against the number 19 seed, while the second went very differently.

The world number 45 raced out to a 4-0 lead and seemed on course to finish the job quickly, before Alexandrova fought back to 5-4.

Linette kept her nerve to serve out the win and set up a fourth-round clash against fourth seed Caroline Garcia, who came from a set down to defeat Laura Siegemund.

Andy Murray is confident he can reach the latter stages of a grand slam before calling time on his career after being left "disappointed" by his third-round exit at the Australian Open.

The 35-year-old showed what he is capable of by defeating Thanasi Kokkinakis in a near-six-hour epic in the early hours of Friday, but he came unstuck against Roberto Bautista Agut on Saturday.

Murray, who was also on the court for almost four hours against Matteo Berrettini in the first round, fell just short of a place in the last 16 with a 6-1 6-7 (9-7) 6-3 6-4 loss on Margaret Court Arena.

Three-time grand slam winner Murray is already looking ahead to the Rotterdam Open in three weeks' time, though, and is hopeful of making his mark at the French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open later in the year. 

"I can have a deeper run than the third round of a slam, there's no question about that," he told reporters. "Obviously draws can open up for you.

"I need to also help myself with that. If I was playing at this level last year, I probably wouldn't be ranked 50, 60 in the world. It's up to me to try and change that."

Murray, who was on court for around 14 hours across his three matches in Melbourne, says the amount of hours put into practising is made worthwhile as he looks to prolong his career.

"Obviously you never know exactly when the end is going to be," he said. "I would like to go out playing tennis like this, where I'm competing with the best players in the world in the biggest events and doing myself justice.

"There were maybe times the last year or so where I didn't really feel like I was playing well, and I didn't enjoy the way that I was playing.

"Those sacrifices and that effort that I put in allowed me to get through those matches and play at a high level that I think was entertaining for the people watching.

"I felt good about the way that I was playing. It's more enjoyable for me when I'm playing like that, when I'm coming into a major event and really believing that I can do some damage."

Perhaps showing signs of rustiness from his early-morning finish against Kokkinakis, Murray struggled in the first set against Bautista Agut as three double faults – as many as he had in the whole of his second-round match – handed the initiative to his opponent.

Murray recovered from a point down in the second set to level up via a tie-break, despite trailing 5-2 and 6-4, though Bautista Agut earned the only break of serve in the third set to edge back in front.

Never before had Murray played three successive five-set matches in the main draw of a grand slam, and that remains the case as Bautista Agut shut out the loud noise generated by the crowd to recover from an early break down and take the match.

"I have a lot of mixed emotions," said Murray, who has not reached a grand slam quarter-final in six years. "I feel like I gave everything that I had to this event. So I'm proud of that.

"That is all you can ever do. You can't always control the outcome. You can't control how well you're going to play or the result. You can control the effort that you put into it, and I gave everything that I had the last three matches. I'm very proud of that.

"But I'm also disappointed because I put loads of work into the beginning of this year and was playing well enough to have a really good run, have a deep run.

"I think even tonight I'm competing against a guy 20 in the world, and it's still very tight considering the circumstances. I feel disappointed because I feel like I could have gone quite a bit further."

Number 24 seed Bautista Agut, who has only once previously reached the last eight in Melbourne, will face Tommy Paul in the next round.

Novak Djokovic recognised his ongoing hamstring troubles are "not ideal" but said in "high-level professional tennis you have got to find a way".

The Serbian beat number 27 seed Grigor Dimitrov in straight sets in the third round of the Australian Open on Saturday, despite clearly feeling the hamstring injury that hampered him in his second-round match.

Djokovic was particularly struggling in the first set, though was able to win a tense tie-break 9-7, before going on to win the second and third sets 6-3 6-4 in a match that lasted over three hours.

"I went up and down with my leg, at times it was feeling good and at times not so good, so I had to handle that," Djokovic told Eurosport after the victory.

"Also Grigor is in form, played well for over three hours and three sets, I can't even imagine if I'd lost one of those sets what the length of the match [would have been].

"[I was] just fortunate to find the right shots in the right moments, I thought the double break in the third would be enough but from that moment he was locked in, he didn't miss much, he made me play, made me run all over the place, he read my serves very well, so it was just an incredible battle in the end."

Djokovic received a medical timeout at the end of the first set, which seemed to do the trick as he looked more comfortable in the second, and he broke twice early in the third before a brief Dimitrov fightback, which was ultimately in vain.

"It's movement," he clarified about the injury. "A specific movement that just triggers so I prayed that it doesn't happen, but it happened in the match so I had to deal with it, I had to call the physio and get the pills in my system and it helps so far.

"Not ideal but somehow finding a way. This is high-level professional tennis and you've got to find a way."

The fourth seed faces Australian Alex de Minaur in the fourth round.

Novak Djokovic is through to the fourth round at the Australian Open after beating Grigor Dimitrov in straight sets, but he was made to work for it.

The number four seed was troubled by the hamstring injury carried over from his second-round win against Enzo Couacaud in the first set before winning it on a tie-break.

Djokovic seemed back to normal as he won the second set, but exchanged several breaks of serve with Dimitrov before finally sealing a 7-6 (9-7) 6-3 6-4 win.

The Serbian broke in the first game, but Dimitrov showed admirable grit not to drop serve again, saving set points at 5-3 down before breaking back as Djokovic served for the set.

Despite being visibly hampered by his hamstring, Djokovic saved three set points himself, one of which came in the tense tie-break, before prevailing, the effort it took seeing him briefly collapse to the floor after executing a cross-court volley to seal an opener that lasted 77 minutes.

A medical timeout before second set seemed to make a difference as he continued to trouble the Bulgarian's serve, eventually breaking in the sixth game and going on to take a two-set lead.

Djokovic broke in the first and third games of the third set as Dimitrov began to realise the Serbian's injury issues were not going to be a factor, and although he won a break back, he gave it away to love in the very next game.

The determined 27th seed broke back again before finally holding his serve, but when Djokovic managed to reach his first match point after another long rally, the pair waved to the crowd for noise as they cheered the efforts of both competitors, with Djokovic finishing it off at the first attempt to book a last-16 clash with home hope Alex de Minaur.

Data slam – Unforced errors cost Dimitrov 

There were some impressive rallies throughout the contest, but while the aggressive approach from Dimitrov brought 53 winners, it also led to 50 unforced errors, several of which were on key points.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Dimitrov – 53/50
Djokovic – 28/22

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Dimitrov – 15/4
Djokovic – 11/2

BREAK POINTS WON

Dimitrov – 3/8
Djokovic – 5/12

Aryna Sabalenka could never previously have been accused of being "boring", but she now wears that tag as a badge of honour and believes it can lead to Australian Open glory.

The world number five from Belarus has found a way to control her previously volatile emotions, cured her torrid serving yips through persistent hard work, and an elusive grand slam might soon be coming her way.

Sabalenka won 6-2 6-3 against Belgian Elise Mertens in an hour and 14 minutes on Margaret Court Arena on Saturday, delivering another dominant performance that means she has yet to drop a set this year.

That includes a fuss-free run to the Adelaide International 1 title and a brisk dash through the opening three rounds at Melbourne Park. She is 14-0 for sets in 2023, and this new version of Sabalenka faces Olympic champion Belinda Bencic next for a place in the quarter-finals.

Sabalenka's talent has never been in doubt, but her temperament has been a sticking point.

Asked what had been key to her sauntering untroubled through the opening rounds this year, Sabalenka said: "I think my calmness on the court. That's pretty much it. I was just ready for everything. Whatever's going to happen on court, I'm ready for that. I think this is the key.

"I wish I would have been like that a few years ago. Finally, I understand what everyone was looking for and asking for.

"I need to be a little bit boring on court. It's still about a lot of positive emotions for me, but I'm trying to stay away from negative and just fight for every point."

She is fighting the inclination to throw her racket and scream when moments go against her, and says staving off the dark thoughts is becoming "a little bit more natural right now".

Last year, Sabalenka served at least 10 double faults in each of her three opening matches in Melbourne, coming from a set down to win each time, before bowing out in round four after a wild tussle with Kaia Kanepi.

Iga Swiatek remains the title favourite with the bookmakers this year, but Sabalenka is second on that list.

"About being the favourite, I don't know," the 24-year-old said. "I mean, it's really good that I'm there, but I better focus on myself, on my game, make sure that my dream will happen."

She is allowing herself to dream, but not to become carried away, knowing this has been her undoing in the past.

"I just have to stay the same, because before, in the second week, I remember I was getting nervous, I was overthinking, over-dreaming," Sabalenka said. "I really believed and believe that the only one thing that was missing was my emotions, that I was too emotional on court.

"I really believe if I'm going to keep the same mindset, the same calm on court, I really believe that I can get it."

Bencic is also enjoying a terrific start to the year, winning the Adelaide International 2 tournament and easing through her opening Australian Open tests.

The Swiss has a new coach in Dmitry Tursunov, and the link-up with the Russian, who briefly worked with Emma Raducanu last season, is bearing fruit.

Sabalenka knows the threat that lies ahead, saying of Bencic: "She's a great fighter, a great player, moving well, hitting the ball quite clean.

"I feel like I have to stay really aggressive in the first few shots, and then the slower ball or shorter ball will come.

"I think it's all about fast feet on the first few shots. I have to be like really a tiger, stay low and ready for that."

Andrey Rublev avenged a recent straight sets loss to Dan Evans in convincing fashion on Friday, advancing through to the fourth round with a 6-4 6-2 6-3 victory.

Rublev's serve was the dominant force in the match, not conceding a single break as he saved all four of Evans' break point opportunities.

He finished with 10 aces to Evans' three, and created 15 break point opportunities of his own, securing four.

When speaking to the media after his win, Rublev said his recent defeat against Evans in July's Montreal Open was still fresh in his mind and he was thrilled to turn the tables this time.

"I'm happy with my game today, especially because last time I lost to him in straight sets," he said. "So I took the revenge.

"I'm really happy – I mean, the first set wasn't amazing, but was not that bad. I was just serving well, I was not doing something special.

"As soon as I was able to win the first set, I started to feel a relief, I started to feel more confident, I started to feel I can go for extra speed to raise a level.

"As soon as I did it, I started to feel even more confident, because I started to feel that this game, he cannot control. He was not able to do something – he started to stress more, and I started to feel it."

Rublev has never been past the quarter-finals of a grand slam, and when asked what has been holding him back, he said it was obvious.

"It's easy, and I think it's obvious – it's the mental part," he said. "That's it. Because game-wise, I think I have a good game to fight against top players, to play and compete."

The world number six will play world number 10 Holger Rune in the fourth round, with a place in the last eight on the line.

Rublev feels he is just as dangerous as his 19-year-old opponent because they both have "nothing to lose".

"He's a young guy, super talented," Rublev said. "He has nothing to lose for the moment, because he was going from underdog position all the time.

"But this year, we'll see. It's going to be challenging for him, and I have nothing to lose against him next time, because he was the one who won our first match, so he will feel a bit of pressure."

Maria Sakkari joined eight of her fellow co-stars from the Netflix series Break Point in suffering an early exit from the Australian Open.

Of the 10 players to have featured in the series, which first aired on the streaming platform last week, only Felix Auger-Aliassime remains following Sakkari's defeat to Lin Zhu on Friday.

Sakkari, the WTA sixth seed, went down 7-6 1-6 6-4 to world number 87 Lin, who claimed her first victory over a top-10 opponent.

Lin became the sixth Chinese female player to reach the fourth round at the Australian Open in the Open Era.

"I mean honestly, am I in a dream?" Lin said in her on-court interview.

"I have to believe in myself that I have the ability to be able to play at this high level. Who knows what's going to happen? You never know."

She added in her press conference: "It means a lot. It makes me believe that I can play at this level and I can beat a player like her.

"It took me a long time to get here, and so that's why I'm so emotional. This is not the end. Let's keep going."

Sakkari's defeat saw the Greek join Thanasi Kokkinakis, Taylor Fritz, Matteo Berrettini, Casper Ruud and Ons Jabeur in exiting the season's first grand slam within the opening three rounds.

Ruud and Jabeur were the respective second seeds in the men's and women's singles, while Berrettini and Kokkinakis both fell foul of a resurgent Andy Murray, whose victory comeback over Kokkinakis lasted almost six hours and went on beyond 4:00 am local time.

Nick Kyrgios, Ajla Tomljanovic and Paula Badosa also featured in the five-part Netflix series, which will air its second batch of episodes later in the year, but all three withdrew from the Australian Open due to injury.

A downcast Sakkari, who had rubbished the suggestion of any "Netflix curse" in a previous press conference, told reporters: "I think that my level was not good at all. I started the match by being very defensive and not hitting the ball, just being scared of playing my game.

"She had basically nothing to lose. She was playing free. She was enjoying herself. She was playing very, very well. I didn't handle the situation well.

"She was barely missing anything, [not] making any unforced errors. That's how I felt. She was very solid from both sides. I've seen her on the tour. I've never seen her playing that well, to be honest.

"Of course, beating Jil [Teichmann] in the round before, she was pretty pumped and motivated to have a good result here. She has achieved it already by beating two very good players."

Lin's next opponent will be two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka, who became the eighth female player in the Open Era to win 45+ main draw matches at the Australian Open by beating Madison Keys 1-6 6-2 6-1.

Azarenka joins Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova, Lindsay Davenport, Venus Williams, Martina Hingis, Steffi Graf and Martina Navratilova on that list.

"She's a great champion," Lin said of Azarenka. "She's a great player. I will just keep playing like I played today and trust myself, enjoy the match. Who knows?"

Sebastian Korda sent two-time finalist Daniil Medvedev packing from the Australian Open but admitted: "I'm definitely the worst athlete in the family."

It was not even a show of modesty from Korda but a reflection of the sporting success his parents and siblings have achieved.

The 22-year-old American has had big wins before, yet his 7-6 (9-7) 6-3 7-6 (7-4) win against 2021 US Open champion Medvedev on Rod Laver Arena might go down as the best of the lot. It was his first win over a top-10 player in a grand slam and means Medvedev will slide out of that elite group at the end of the tournament.

Korda has made an outstanding start to the year, defeating Andy Murray and Jannik Sinner on his way to the Adelaide International 1 final, where he took a set off Novak Djokovic.

Now he is through to the fourth round of a major for a third second time after previous runs at the French Open and Wimbledon.

Reminded about his father Petr's Australian Open men's singles title in 1998, Korda stepped in to say: "Even better, though, my sisters won the Australian Open in women's golf."

LPGA Tour stars Jessica and Nelly Korda took that title in 2012 and 2019, respectively, on the way to being recognised among the biggest stars in their sport.

Mother Regina was also an established tennis player on the WTA circuit in the 1980s and early 1990s.

"I don't know what I'm going to be ranked. My mum's career-high was number 24, my dad was two," Korda said.

"Nelly, my sister was number one, my older sister Jessica was six, so I'm definitely the worst athlete in the family so far."

As it stands, Korda has moved to 28th on the provisional ATP rankings by coming through three rounds.

He won the Australian Open boys' title in 2018 but now has bigger targets, with a fourth-round tussle against Hubert Hurkacz ahead of him.

Korda has Andre Agassi in his corner, albeit distantly. He has described the four-time Australian Open winner as a "mentor", and Las Vegas-based Agassi stayed up until the early hours at home to watch the Medvedev match.

"He texted me. He's going to bed now," Korda said after his late-night win in Melbourne.

"He's one of the most special people in my life. We started talking during COVID in 2020. He's been one of the biggest parts in my rise. Just overall as a tennis player, as a human being. We spend a lot of time together. He's very special to me."

Now 10th seed Hurkacz awaits, and Korda, seeded 29th, knows that will be a tricky assignment.

"We practise quite a bit," Korda said. "Usually whenever we practise, he actually wins the tournament. I always give him jokes about that. I'm looking forward to it. It's exciting, the fourth round of a grand slam. I'll be ready to go."

Can Korda win the Australian Open, just like his dad, and keep up the family tradition of outstanding results in the country?

"It's a special place for us," he said. "We've had some really great results. Hopefully I can do one better than the juniors and do it in the pros."

For the first time in 20 years, four or fewer of the top eight seeds in the men's singles will progress to the fourth round of the Australian Open.

Daniil Medvedev's defeat to Sebastian Korda on Friday meant he joined Casper Ruud, Taylor Fritz and defending champion Rafael Nadal in heading home early from the season's first grand slam.

According to Opta, it is the first time since 2003 that the round of 16 in Melbourne will include four or fewer of the top eight players in the competition.  

Nine-time champion Novak Djokovic, meanwhile, is struggling with injury ahead of his third-round tie with Grigor Dimitrov on Saturday, while world number six and fifth seed Andrey Rublev faces a tough test against Dan Evans.

Stefanos Tsitsipas is sure of his place in round four after the Greek third seed beat Tallon Griekspoor in straight sets. Felix Auger-Aliassime will go up against Jiri Lehecka for a place in the last eight.

 

Coco Gauff is excited about the prospect of players from the United States winning both singles titles at the same grand slam again following a bright start to the Australian Open for the men.

The last American to win the men's singles crown at any grand slam was Andy Roddick at the 2003 US Open.

The USA is still way out in front for all-time grand slam men's singles titles with 147, though 19 years and counting is comfortably their worst barren spell during the Open Era.

This comes after 2003 was the 15th year in a row that the USA had at least one champion in the men's majors, with the likes of Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi both prolific winners.

Of course, the drought did not extend to the women, with Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Sloane Stephens and Sofia Kenin all winning at least once since Roddick's success at Flushing Meadows.

But with eight of the last 32 in the men's draw representing the USA, there is a renewed sense of optimism – and that is even accounting for their highest seed, number eight Taylor Fritz, falling in the second round.

Gauff – who beat compatriot Bernarda Pera on Friday – is the USA's next great female hope, and she is looking forward to the day Americans claim a men's and women's double at the same slam.

Asked if there was a refreshing sense of excitement around the men, Gauff said: "Yeah, definitely. I definitely think on the men's side they're thriving.

"It's like eight people in the round of 32 I saw. I think it's incredible. It's just people that you've been rooting for for a long time, and some new faces, too, that people probably haven't been rooting for a long time but fell in love with.

"I'm just excited. On the women's side, we're always like, 'the guys need to catch up, you guys need to put in your work'. I think they're here. I'm hoping that eventually, hopefully soon, we'll have our slam champion on the men's side.

"That would be pretty cool if an American woman and guy could win the same slam. I don't know when the last time that's happened or if it's ever happened. I'll be pretty excited."

Coincidentally, it last happened at Melbourne Park. In 2003, Andre Agassi and Serena Williams were victorious at the Australian Open.

Gauff is not getting carried away, but her perception is there is genuine belief among the men now, which is being fed by unity.

"I definitely think the guys are feeling it," she said. "You can see it. I think it really comes from, not the women, but the same dynamic, where everybody is doing well, so it makes you want to do well.

"We're all not competing with each other but pushing each other. I think that's what the men are having.

"They're competing against each other but also pushing each other to be better. I'm pretty sure all the American guys get along, at least that's what I think."

There were setbacks to American men's title hopes on Friday as Frances Tiafoe and Mackenzie McDonald both lost at the last-32 stage, but there was a hugely notable win too, with Sebastian Korda beating seventh seed, two-time Australian Open runner-up and former US Open champion Daniil Medvedev in straight sets.

Iga Swiatek is growing in confidence by the day after she blew Cristina Bucsa to reach the fourth round of the Australian Open.

The world number one ruthlessly dispatched the Spanish qualifier 6-0 6-1 in just 55 minutes on Margaret Court Arena on Friday.

Swiatek won the French Open for a second time last year before claiming her first US Open title and the 21-year-old is the favourite to be crowned champion at Melbourne Park.

Reflecting on her progress through the draw so far, the Pole believes she is making great strides in her quest for a fourth grand slam triumph.

"I feel I'm more and more confident since day one here," she said. "I feel like I've done so much work to feel more confident, more relaxed on court.

"I'm pretty happy I did it because it's just a little bit easier. Whe you actually play those matches, you can feel the rhythm a little bit more.

"I don't feel like the tournament is going to start now, because first rounds are always challenging.

"I'm trying to treat every match separately. I always try to have the same mindset. I can just say that I feel more confident because I'm played a couple of matches here."

Swiatek will do battle with Elena Rybakina in the fourth round and will ensure she does her homework before facing the Wimbledon champion.

"Tactically, I'm not prepared yet. We played an exhibition in Dubai, [but] it's hard kind of to take a lot from that match," she said.

"I'm pretty sure my coach is going to be ready to give me some tips. We'll see [but] I'm not really thinking about that today."

Tournament director Craig Tiley has no plans to change the Australian Open schedule despite a 4am finish for Andy Murray and Thanasi Kokkinakis.

Murray stormed back from two sets down to beat Australian Kokkinakis 4-6 6-7 (4-7) 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 7-5 early in the early hours of Friday morning on Margaret Court Arena.

The three-time grand slam champion sealed an incredible victory in a second-round thriller that took five hours and 45 minutes to settle.

That was the longest match in Brit Murray's career and the 4.05am finish was the third-latest in the history of the sport.

Murray made his feelings over having to play at that time of day very clear, but Tiley did not see an alternative option.

"You would expect from 7pm to 12pm (the evening session) in that five-hour window, you would get two matches," Tiley said. "We also have to protect the matches. If you just put one match at night and there’s an injury, you don't have anything for fans or broadcasters.

"At this point there is no need to alter the schedule. We always look at it when we do the debrief like we do every year, we've had long matches before, at this point we've got to fit the matches into the 14 days so you don't have many options."

Murray vented his frustration at the chair umpire during the match and stated after his victory that he did not see the logic in playing so late.

"I don't know who it's beneficial for," Murray said. "We come here after the match and that's what the discussion is, rather than it being like, 'epic Murray-Kokkinakis match'. It ends in a bit of a farce.

"Amazingly people stayed until the end, and I really appreciate people doing that and creating an atmosphere for us. Some people obviously need to work the following day and everything.

"But if my child was a ball kid for a tournament and they're coming home at five in the morning, as a parent, I'm snapping at that. It's not beneficial for them. It's not beneficial for the umpires, the officials. I don't think it's amazing for the fans. It's not good for the players.

"We talk about it all the time, and it's been spoken about for years. But when you start the night matches late and have conditions like that, these things are going to happen."

World number one Iga Swiatek made an emphatic statement with a 54-minute rout of Spanish qualifier Cristina Bucsa to seal her progression to the Australian Open fourth round on Friday.

Swiatek dropped only six points in a 22-minute first set, before completing a 6-0 6-1 demolition over her 25-year-old opponent at Margaret Court Arena.

The Pole led 6-0 5-0, prompting a crowd member to shout "open the bakery", before Bucsa held her serve to avoid a dreaded double bagel.

Swiatek's victory sets up a fourth-round clash with 2022 Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina, as the Pole chases her fourth major triumph, including the French Open and US Open crowns last year.

The 21-year-old completely outclassed her opponent, winning 82 per cent of serve points, along with 65 per cent on return, including 71 per cent on Bucsa's second serve. The Spaniard only won 19 of 71 points for the match.

Despite an unconvincing first-serve percentage of 59 per cent, Swiatek never offered up a break point, hitting 15 winners throughout the lopsided contest.

Swiatek has not dropped a set in her three matches at the tournament, giving up only six games in her past two matches.

Data slam: Swiatek demolition falls short of Barty mark

Swiatek's swift victory coincidentally came on the afternoon after Andy Murray and Thanasi Kokkinakis battled until 4am local time in a five-hour-and-50-minute epic in the men's singles.

However, the Pole's 54-minute win was not as brief as last year's champion Ash Barty who disposed of Danka Kovinic 6-0 6-0 in 44 minutes at the 2021 Australian Open.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Swiatek – 15/6
Bucsa – 4/21

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Swiatek – 3/0
Bucsa – 1/3

BREAK POINTS WON

Swiatek – 5/10
Bucsa – 0/0

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