Australian Open 2023: Day six on Saturday

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Highlights of the sixth day of the Australian Open at Melbourne Park on Saturday, all times local (GMT +11):

1800 PAUL, WOLF ADVANCE IN ALL-AMERICAN CLASHES

Tommy Paul moved into the second week with a 6-1 6-4 6-3 victory over Jenson Brooksby to set up a fourth-round match with either Andy Murray or Roberto Bautista Agut.

At the Kia Arena, JJ Wolf beat lucky loser Michael Mmoh 6-4 6-1 6-2 to move into the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the first time.

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1703 DE MINAUR KEEPS AUSTRALIAN FLAG FLYING HIGH

Australia’s Alex de Minaur beat Benjamin Bonzi 7-6(0) 6-2 6-1 to book his place in the fourth round, where he will play either Novak Djokovic or Grigor Dimitrov.

“I hope everyone that was on this court right now is going to go and support Alexei Popyrin,” De Minaur said.

“That’s all we do. Us Aussies, we stick together. We’ve got a bright future ahead and let’s get ‘Popeye’ to the line today.”

Wildcard Popyrin faces American Ben Shelton in the third round later on Saturday.

1700 MORE PRESSURE ON RUNE, SAYS RUBLEV

Fifth seed Andrey Rublev has turned up the pressure on teenager Holger Rune ahead of their last 16 encounter, saying the teenager is no longer an underdog after his breakout year in 2022 when he cracked the top 10.

“I have nothing to lose against him next time, because he was the one who won our first match (at last year’s Paris Masters). So he will feel a bit of pressure that he would like to win again,” Rublev said.

1620 SABALENKA DISPATCHES MERTENS

Aryna Sabalenka prevented her former doubles partner Elise Mertens from reaching the last 16 for a fourth consecutive year with a dominant 6-2 6-3 win over the Belgian.

Sabalenka, who won the Adelaide International 1 earlier this month and has not dropped a set in 2023, next faces Belinda Bencic.

1600 DENMARK’S RUNE MOVES ON

Ninth seed Holger Rune beat Frenchman Ugo Humbert 6-4 6-2 7-6(5) to move into the last 16 for the first time in Melbourne, where he will face fifth seed Andrey Rublev.

The Danish teenager was trailing in the third set tiebreak after a double fault but clawed his way back to seal progress.

1446 FLAWLESS RUBLEV ADVANCES IN STRAIGHT SETS

Andrey Rublev came through a tricky encounter against Dan Evans to win 6-4 6-2 6-3 on Margaret Court Arena after firing 60 winners past the Briton.

Rublev, who did not drop serve, improved as the match wore on and even got a helping hand from Evans, with the Briton giving him a banana during a changeover.

“He helped me with some energy for sure,” Rublev said with a smile.

1430 BENCIC INTO LAST-16

Swiss 12th seed Belinda Bencic eased into the last-16 for the first time since 2016 after a 6-2 7-5 win over Camila Giorgi.

Italian Giorgi broke Bencic to level the second set at 5-5 before the Olympic champion broke back and served out the match.

“I’m happy I got a second chance to serve it out but overall I think it was a great match,” Bencic said.

1230 PLISKOVA PROGRESSES AFTER DOWNING GRACHEVA

Former world number one Karolina Pliskova brushed aside Russia’s Varvara Gracheva 6-4 6-2 to advance to the fourth round.

“It’s the third round of a slam so there’s never an easy match, no matter who is the opponent, no matter the ranking,” said 30th seed Pliskova.

1113 PLAY UNDERWAY AT MELBOURNE PARK

Third-round action began as scheduled on the sixth day of the year’s first Grand Slam.

The weather forecast looks good, with a high of 24 degrees Celsius (75.2 degrees Fahrenheit).

(Reporting by Michael Church in Hong Kong and Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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