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Australian Open day six: Cilic, De Minaur and Swiatek win – as it happened

The Guardian
The Guardian
 2022-01-22

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1.11pm GMT

Related: ‘Panicked’ Dan Evans blown away by fast-improving Felix Auger-Aliassime

Related: Australian Open fans urged to show respect as Nick Kyrgios makes locker room ‘fight’ claim

1.10pm GMT

Time to wrap up after a lively evening session in Melbourne, with Marin Cilic taking out Andrey Rublev in four sets and Sorana Cirstea earning an upset win over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

Earlier, Iga Swiatek eased past Daria Kasatkina and into the last 16, while Alex De Minaur delighted home fans with a straight-sets win over Pablo Andújar.

Thanks for joining me, it’s been fun. Until next time...

1.08pm GMT

And here’s the Sunday schedule:

Rod Laver Arena

Day session (11am local/12am GMT)
Madison Keys v Paula Badosa (8)
(4) Barbora Krejcikova v Victoria Azarenka (24)
Adrian Mannarino v Rafael Nadal (6)

Night session (7pm local/8am GMT)
(1) Ash Barty v Amanda Anisimova
(19) Pablo Carreño Busta v Matteo Berrettini (7)

Margaret Court Arena

From 1pm local/2am GMT
(21) Jessica Pegula v Maria Sakkari (5)
(3) Alexander Zverev v Denis Shapovalov (14)

John Cain Arena

From 6.30pm local/7.30am GMT
Miomir Kecmanovic v Gaël Monfils (17)

1.04pm GMT

Here is the women’s singles last 16. Can anyone stop Ash Barty reaching her first final here, and who will emerge from the bottom half of the draw?

(1, Aus) Ashleigh Barty v Amanda Anisimova (US)
(21, US) Jessica Pagula v Maria Sakkari (5, Gre)
(4, Cz) Barbora Krejcikova v Victoria Azarenka (24, Blr)
(US) Madison Keys v Paula Badosa (8, Sp)

(27, US) Danielle Collins v Elise Mertens (19, Bel)
(14, Rom) Simona Halep v Alize Cornet (Fr)
(7, Pol) Iga Swiatek v Sorana Cirstea (Rom)
(Est) Kaia Kanepi v Aryna Sabalenka (2, Blr)

1.02pm GMT

So, the fourth round draws are set. Let’s take a quick look, starting with the men’s singles. Zverev and Nadal are on course to meet in the quarters, while Medvedev is the favourite in the bottom half – but there are some dangerous players lurking.

(Ser) Miomir Kecmanovic v Gaël Monfils (17, Fr)
(19, Sp) Pablo Carreño Busta v Matteo Berrettini (7, It)
(3, Ger) Alexander Zverev v Denis Shapovalov (14, Can)
(Fr) Adrian Mannarino v Rafael Nadal (6, Sp)

(32, Aus) Alex De Minaur v Jannik Sinner (11, It)
(20, US) Taylor Fritz v Stefanos Tsitsipas (4, Gre)
(27, Cro) Marin Cilic v Félix Auger-Aliassime (9, Can)
(US) Maxime Cressy v Daniil Medvedev (2, Rus)

12.50pm GMT

Here are Cilic’s post-game thoughts: “I enjoyed every single second of the match. I had so much fun and played great tennis. I tried to be aggressive, you can’t give these top guys the chance to hit – and I think it worked. I’m feeling really excited, it’s going to get tougher.” He thanks the crowd, festooned with Croatia kits and flags, as a convenient way to wrap up the interview.

12.47pm GMT

Rublev couldn’t consistently find his top gear, but that was a terrific performance from Marin Cilic, who looked close to top form there. He’ll face Félix Auger-Aliassime next, and if he can maintain this level, he’ll be a test for anyone.

12.45pm GMT

Marin Cilic beats Andrey Rublev in four sets!

A slice of luck for Cilic as a net-cord bounce leaves Rublev too much to do – then an unforced error as the Russian goes long. A containing slice from Cilic drifts out, but another gift from Rublev brings up two match points...

Cilic wins it with an ace, straight down the middle, and he wins 7-5, 7-6 (3), 3-6, 6-3!

12.41pm GMT

Fourth set: Rublev 5-7, 6-7 (3), 6-3, 3-5* Cilic (*denotes next server) Cilic goes for broke, three returns landing several feet away from their intended targets. Rublev holds to love, but Cilic will serve for the match...

12.40pm GMT

Fourth set: Rublev 5-7, 6-7 (3), 6-3, *2-5 Cilic (*denotes next server) At 15-0 up, Cilic tries a drop shot for some reason – it’s not the best. That opens the door for Rublev, who battles his way to deuce. A pivotal moment? Cilic responds with a rare booming backhand, then an ace. He celebrates like a man who knows the finish line is in sight now.

12.39pm GMT

Cirstea beats Pavlyuchenkova in three sets!

Sorana Cirstea serves out in style to upset No 10 seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and book a fourth-round meeting with Iga Swiatek.

“It’s almost midnight, so thank you all for staying and for your support,” she says afterwards. “Tonight I just tried to focus on my side of the court. We’ve known each other since we were 14 years old, we know each other’s game very well. I’m very grateful I was able to win.”

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Sorana Cirstea goes into the fourth round. Photograph: Hamish Blair/AP

Updated at 12.42pm GMT

12.32pm GMT

Fourth set: Rublev 5-7, 6-7 (3), 6-3, 2-4* Cilic (*denotes next server) So, Cilic has recovered from that wobble and needs two more games to book his place in the last 16. Does Rublev have another comeback in him? He rattles through his service game here, taking his ace count to 16.

Elsewhere, Sorana Cirstea is serving for the match, 5-2 up on Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the decider.

Updated at 12.32pm GMT

12.29pm GMT

Fourth set: Rublev 5-7, 6-7 (3), 6-3, *1-4 Cilic (*denotes next server) Cilic lands his 20th ace, then produces a perfect second serve into the body. He’s taking his time between points, and backs up the break with a crafty second-serve ace.

12.27pm GMT

Fourth set: Rublev 5-7, 6-7 (3), 6-3, 1-3* Cilic (*denotes next server) Cilic gets the edge with a terrific return off a looping Rublev second serve, and earns a break point as Rublev nets a loose forehand. On the next point, Rublev has space for a winner down the line – but misses! That was very close, and he can’t quite believe it was out. It’s advantage Cilic again.

12.22pm GMT

Not quite the twists and turns promised so far on Rod Laver, where Cirstea has broken again and now leads Pavlyuchenkova 4-1 in the decider. She’s on the verge of reaching the fourth round here for just the second time in 14 visits.

12.21pm GMT

Fourth set: Rublev 5-7, 6-7 (3), 6-3, *1-2 Cilic (*denotes next server) Better from Cilic, with two short Rublev returns dispatched at the net. He finishes off with an ace.

12.19pm GMT

Fourth set: Rublev 5-7, 6-7 (3), 6-3, 1-1* Cilic (*denotes next server) Cilic is still trying to be aggressive on the Rublev serve, but the timing isn’t quite there, and a couple of unforced errors allow Rublev to hold to love.

12.17pm GMT

Fourth set: Rublev 5-7, 6-7 (3), 6-3, *0-1 Cilic (*denotes next server) Cilic finds himself on a five-game skid having looked close to victory. Time for a comfort break, a change of shirt and a recalibration of serve. It’s still not back at full speed, but he holds to 30 here.

12.10pm GMT

Rublev wins the third set 6-3, trails Cilic 2-1! An ace, a wild swing from Cilic, a pinpoint volley and Rublev holds to love. This game has changed very quickly.

12.09pm GMT

Third set: Rublev 5-7, 6-7 (3), *5-3 Cilic (*denotes next server) An important game for Cilic, who had chances to go a double-break up, and is now behind. Unforced errors are creeping in, and he slips 0-30 down. Can his serve rescue him? No – a ferocious return gives him no chance, and an unstoppable forehand winner makes it four games in a row for Rublev!

12.05pm GMT

Pavlyuchenkova has levelled against Sorana Cirstea, winning the second set 6-2 – but the Romanian has broken to lead the decider 2-0! A few more twists and turns to come there, I’ll wager.

12.04pm GMT

Third set: Rublev 5-7, 6-7 (3), 4-3* Cilic (*denotes next server) Terrific hustle from Rublev, who could easily be 5-1 down. He backs it up with an impressive hold, able to get into the net and outwork Cilic before sealing with an ace. Has the momentum unexpectedly shifted?

12.02pm GMT

Third set: Rublev 5-7, 6-7 (3), 3-3* Cilic (*denotes next server) Rublev finally gets some joy on the Cilic serve, finding two testing returns and turning a 30-15 deficit into a break point. On second serve, he converts as Cilic sends a forehand into the net!

11.59am GMT

In the other game still going on, Pavlyuchenkova leads Cirstea 5-2 in the second set, after the Romanian won the first. The local wildlife is causing disruption, with Pavlyuchenkova accidentally squashing a bug and Cirstea distracted by Melbourne’s famous seagulls, perched up on the rafters.

11.57am GMT

Third set: Rublev 5-7, 6-7 (3), 2-3* Cilic (*denotes next server) Rublev is wilting here; he is getting virtually nothing for free from Cilic, every loose shot punished. Another dominant rally brings up a double break point, and a Rublev forehand that lands in, much to his relief. A couple of big first serves get him out of trouble.

Updated at 12.00pm GMT

11.52am GMT

Third set: Rublev 5-7, 6-7 (3), *1-3 Cilic (*denotes next server) A key stat in this battle of big serves: Cilic has won 31 receiving points to Rublev’s 14. The Russian doesn’t add to his tally here, an aggressive return going long and a 17th ace sealing the deal.

Updated at 12.00pm GMT

11.50am GMT

Third set: Rublev 5-7, 6-7 (3), 1-2* Cilic (*denotes next server) Cilic senses this is his moment, and as Rublev’s serve falters he is there to pounce, sending back any short stuff with interest and earning two more break points. This time he takes it, another attacking return doing the job as Rublev finds the net.

Updated at 12.00pm GMT

11.47am GMT

Third set: Rublev 5-7, 6-7 (3), *1-1 Cilic (*denotes next server) Rublev has to find some way to shake Cilic out of his rhythm on serve. He lands one return winner here, but he’s already 40-0 down, and Cilic promptly lands another ace.

Updated at 11.59am GMT

11.43am GMT

Third set: Rublev 5-7, 6-7 (3), 1-0* Cilic (*denotes next server) Cilic stays on the attack, still finding clean winners – 37 to Rublev’s 24. Three break points come and go, Rublev finding enough on serve each time, and he digs out a vital hold.

Updated at 11.59am GMT

11.37am GMT

This has been really impressive from Cilic so far, while Rublev has played within himself. There’s better news for his fellow Olympian; Pavlyuchenkova has broken Cirstea to lead in the second set as she looks to level the match.

11.35am GMT

Marin Cilic wins the second-set tie-break 7-3! The Croatian looks the stronger player now, picking off another Rublev service point – but an unforced error lets the Russian back in. A big moment a 5-3 – and Cilic fires down a 213kph serve! Set point, and an unstoppable forehand, whipped into the corner of the court, puts him 2-0 up.

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Two up: Marin Cilic wins the second set tie break. Photograph: Dean Lewins/AAP

Updated at 11.40am GMT

11.32am GMT

Second set tiebreak: Rublev 2-4 Cilic Marin Cilic just misses the baseline with another fierce return, but the next one does the trick as Rublev nets. Cilic whips an immaculate forehand across court, and responds to an excellent Rublev return before taking charge of the next rally. Rublev gets a point back on serve, but his opponent is in control at the change of ends.

11.28am GMT

Sorana Cirstea wins the first set 6-3! An upset brewing on Rod Laver as Cirstea serves out the first set in style against the No 10 seed, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

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Sorana Cirstea goes one set up. Photograph: Daniel Pockett/Getty Images

Updated at 11.31am GMT

11.28am GMT

Second set: Rublev 5-7, 6-6* Cilic (*denotes next server) Cilic on the attack again, walloping a forehand and then smashing back a return on second serve. 15-30, but he snatches at a cross-court shot. Maybe a touch too aggressive, and Rublev digs in to hold. Tie break time!

11.24am GMT

Second set: Rublev 5-7, *5-6 Cilic (*denotes next server) Another pair of aces, including one that catches the very edge of the line down the middle. An easy hold; can he snatch another set before the tie break?

Elsewhere, Cirstea has regained the advantage in the first set, and now leads 5-2 with Pavlyuchenkova serving to stay in the set. Iga Swiatek awaits the winner.

11.21am GMT

Second set: Rublev 5-7, 5-5* Cilic (*denotes next server) A brutal, 59-second hold to love from Rublev, with the Russian up to nine aces, compared to Cilic’s 12.

11.18am GMT

Second set: Rublev 5-7, *4-5 Cilic (*denotes next server) Cilic drops the first point, which counts as a chance in this serve-heavy battle. He fires down three unreturnable first serves, and then when Rublev gets into a rally, produces some outrageous pace to win the game. He’s looking very solid out there.

11.16am GMT

Second set: Rublev 5-7, 4-4* Cilic (*denotes next server) Rublev holds with little fuss, a spinning second serve getting the job done as Cilic nets his return.

On Rod Laver, Sorana Cirstea got an early break but she’s been pegged back, with Pavyluchenkova back on serve in a first set briefly interrupted by a freakishly large insect strutting across the court.

11.14am GMT

Here’s Tumaini Carayol on Dan Evans’ defeat to Félix Auger-Aliassime. The last British singles player standing admitted he “panicked a bit” as the game rapidly got away from him.

Related: ‘Panicked’ Dan Evans blown away by fast-improving Felix Auger-Aliassime

11.12am GMT

Second set: Rublev 5-7, *3-4 Cilic (*denotes next server) Cilic whips a forehand onto the baseline and follows in to clip a cross-court volley out of Rublev’s reach. Other than that, it’s big serves aplenty, another ace sealing the hold.

11.09am GMT

Second set: Rublev 5-7, 3-3* Cilic (*denotes next server) Rublev has been vulnerable on second serve – winning just four of 12 points – so a flurry of three aces is welcome here as he holds to love, finishing with a backhand down the line.

Updated at 11.10am GMT

11.06am GMT

Second set: Rublev 5-7, *2-3 Cilic (*denotes next server) Cilic hasn’t made the fourth round at a slam for two years, but has come close to some big wins. He lost in five sets to Daniil Medvedev at Wimbledon, and in four to Roger Federer at Roland Garros. Here, Rublev rallies to 40-30 down, then plays entirely the wrong shot, a mistimed effort apologetically finding the net.

Updated at 11.09am GMT

11.02am GMT

Second set: Rublev 5-7, 2-2* Cilic (*denotes next server) Cilic goes for broke at 30-0 down, swinging and missing with an attempted winner on the Rublev second serve. The Russian closes out with an ace.

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Andrey Rublev with an ace. Photograph: Asanka Brendon Ratnayake/Reuters

Updated at 11.11am GMT

11.00am GMT

Second set: Rublev 5-7, *1-2 Cilic (*denotes next server) Rublev has shown a recent tendency to falter against tricky opponents at slams; he hasn’t reached a quarter-final since losing to Medvedev here last year, losing to Marton Fucsovics at Wimbledon and Frances Tiafoe in New York. He can’t make a dent on the imperious Cilic serve here.

10.56am GMT

Second set: Rublev 5-7, 1-1* Cilic (*denotes next server) Rublev powers to 40-0, makes a mess of a drop shot that lands an inch in front of him, then goes back to basics with a bomming ace.

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Andrey Rublev with a ‘bomming’ ace. Photograph: Dean Lewins/AAP

Updated at 11.04am GMT

10.54am GMT

Second set: Rublev 5-7, *0-1 Cilic (*denotes next server) Time to go game-by-game, and Cilic makes a solid start to the second set, big serves backed by clinical groundstrokes as he holds to 15.

10.51am GMT

Over on Rod Laver Arena, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova – who won Olympic gold in Tokyo alongside Rublev in the mixed doubles – is warming up before her match with Sorana Cirstea. We’ll keep you updated on the early stages of that match.

10.49am GMT

Marin Cilic wins the first set 7-5! Andrey Rublev got back on serve but with the first set seemingly headed for a tie-break, Cilic gets a chance at break point – and a hefty return forces Rublev to go long with a forehand! The former finalist takes the first set.

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Croatia’s Marin Cilic goes one set up. Photograph: Asanka Brendon Ratnayake/Reuters

Updated at 10.53am GMT

10.37am GMT

Alex De Minaur speaks to Jim Courier: “Pretty exciting to play on Rod Laver, in front of the great Rod Laver himself! It’s a pretty amazing feeling. What more can I ask for? I love playing here, there’s no place I’d rather be.”

They show a clip of him trail running with his golden retriever, Enzo, and then ask for his thoughts on his next opponent, Jannik Sinner. “A lot of firepower, he’s a hell of a player – I’m just looking forward to it, another opportunity to come out here and do what I love.”

10.32am GMT

Alex De Minaur beats Pablo Andújar 6-4, 6-4, 6-2!

De Minaur fires down two aces, the second a 200kph scorcher – but then Andujar drills a backhand winner and soaks up the crowd’s applause. De Minaur bangs down another ace, though, and produces a second serve that Andujar can’t return. The Australian men’s No 1 is into the fourth round for the first time, after a dominant, impressive display.

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Alex de Minaur of Australia celebrates match point in his third round singles match against Pablo Andujar of Spain. Photograph: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images
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Fans celebrate Alex De Minaur’s victory Photograph: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Updated at 10.35am GMT

10.28am GMT

De Minaur breaks again! Andujar may be running out of ideas, getting bossed in a couple of rallies here and broken again as an ambitious backhand winner misses the line. De Minaur will serve for the match, with Rod Laver and Lleyton Hewitt watching on.

10.26am GMT

No sign of nerves from Alex De Minaur as he holds serve to move two games away. The crowd on Rod Laver Arena are backing their man, but it’s been good-natured with plenty of appreciation for Andujar too. The “siuuus” are still there, but thankfully much less frequent.

Related: Australian Open fans urged to show respect as Nick Kyrgios makes locker room ‘fight’ claim

10.21am GMT

Andrey Rublev v Marin Cilic is under way, with the Croatian former finalist a dangerous opponent for the No 5 seed. It’s Cilic who has made the stronger start, breaking in the fourth game to lead 3-1.

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Croatia’s Marin Cilic reacts during his third round match against Russia’s Andrey Rublev. Photograph: Asanka Brendon Ratnayake/Reuters

Updated at 10.31am GMT

10.19am GMT

De Minaur goes on the attack in the next Andujar service game, and earns two break points after outlasting his opponent in a baseline battle. Andujar feels the pressure at last, double faulting to surrender his serve. Alex De Minaur is three games from the fourth round!

10.14am GMT

Pablo Andujar isn’t going away quietly, still making his opponent work for every hold of serve. De Minaur wrongfoots him with a backhand that skids down the line, then belts an ace down the middle. It’s 2-2 in the third, with De Minaur leading by two sets to love.

10.12am GMT

Sunday schedule

The order of play for day seven is out, and it’s a belter. Here are the singles matches to look out for:

Rod Laver Arena

Day session (11am local/12am GMT)
Madison Keys v Paula Badosa (8)
(4) Barbora Krejcikova v Victoria Azarenka (24)
Adrian Mannarino v Rafael Nadal (6)

Night session (7pm local/8am GMT)
(1) Ash Barty v Amanda Anisimova
(19) Pablo Carreño Busta v Matteo Berrettini (7)

Margaret Court Arena

From 1pm local/2am GMT
(21) Jessica Pegula v Maria Sakkari (5)
(3) Alexander Zverev v Denis Shapovalov (14)

John Cain Arena

From 6.30pm local/7.30am GMT
Miomir Kecmanovic v Gaël Monfils (17)

10.05am GMT

Jannik Sinner beats Taro Daniel 6-4, 1-6, 6-3, 6-1! It was a real battle for the first three sets before the Italian pulled away. He’ll play the winner of De Minaur v Andujar next – whatever happens, both players will be making their fourth-round debuts at Melbourne Park.

10.01am GMT

The winning moment for Iga Swiatek, who continues her consistent form at grand slams. In the bottom half of the draw, I would say it should be between her and Simona Halep to reach the final.

9.54am GMT

Alex De Minaur wins the second set, leads 2-0! The early break proves enough as the Australian serves out the second set despite some bendy-limbed resistance from Andujar. De Minaur finds a big second serve at 40-30, and his opponent nets a forehand.

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Rod Laver acknowledges the crowd as he watches the third round match between Alex de Minaur and Pablo Andujar . Photograph: Hamish Blair/AP

Updated at 10.08am GMT

9.52am GMT

Iga Swiatek: “That was really intense – she plays top spin, and has the same grip to mine. At the end, the rallies were pretty long, it was just about getting the ball over the net!” She’s asked if she will watch Cirstea v Pavlyuchenkova to see her next opponent will be. “I try to stay focused and not look at the draw, so I didn’t even know!” she says. “My coach will probably watch it.”

9.47am GMT

Iga Swiatek beats Daria Kasatkina 6-2, 6-3!

Iga Swiatek has the chance to serve out, and wobbles to 30-all before forcing an error from her opponent through brute force. Match point, and she hangs in the next rally before Kasatkina nets a forehand. Job done!

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Winner: Poland’s Iga Swiatek celebrates winning her third round match against Russia’s Daria Kasatkina Photograph: Asanka Brendon Ratnayake/Reuters
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Iga Swiatek is congratulated by Daria Kasatkina of Russia Photograph: Andy Brownbill/AP

Updated at 10.03am GMT

9.42am GMT

Swiatek is in the same quarter of the draw as Aryna Sabalenka, who is seeded second but has struggled to get through each game so far, hampered by issues with her serve . At least she could see the funny side after serving just the 10 double faults in her win earlier:

9.39am GMT

It’s all going to plan for Alex De Minaur as he chases a first-ever place in the last 16 here. He’s broken Pablo Andujar and leads 4-2 in the second, and by a set to love.

And perhaps I wrote off Daria Kasatkina at the right time after all – a couple of loose points allow Swiatek to break again, and the No 7 seed powers to a love hold. She’s now 5-2 up in the second, one game from victory.

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Daria Kasatkina on the come back. Photograph: Asanka Brendon Ratnayake/Reuters

Updated at 9.45am GMT

9.33am GMT

Jannik Sinner appears to have regained control of his tussle with Taro Daniel – after taking the third set 6-3, the Italian breaks early in the fourth and leads 2-0. I can’t see it just now, because Eurosport 2 has switched to live skiing. Oh Eurosport. Never change!

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Jannik Sinner in control. Photograph: Tertius Pickard/AP

Updated at 9.36am GMT

9.31am GMT

Perhaps I wrote Daria Kasatkina off too soon – the Russian has broken back and levelled the second set at 2-2. She has break points in the fifth game too, but Swiatek digs out an ace and prevails in a bruising rally to stay on serve.

9.11am GMT

De Minaur wins the first set 6-4! The home hopeful makes a rocky start, slipping 0-30 down – but he fights back and earns a set point when Andujar sends an ambitious slice wide. He seals the set as his opponent nets, following some trademark baseline defence from the Aussie.

Already a set up on Daria Kasatkina, Iga Swiatek is now a break up in the second, and already just four games from victory.

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Daria Kasatkina frustrated after losing the first set. Photograph: Paul Crock/AFP/Getty Images

Updated at 9.22am GMT

9.06am GMT

De Minaur has hit 10 winners to Andujar’s one, and is putting pressure on the Spaniard as he serves to stay in the set. Andujar, who’s making his first ever third-round appearance in Melbourne, digs in to hold, and trails 5-4.

Over on the Kia Arena, Taro Daniel and Jannik Sinner are locked at one set all, and 3-3 in the third. The winners of these two matches meet in the fourth round.

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Taro Daniel in a tight match. Photograph: Tertius Pickard/AP

Updated at 9.10am GMT

9.00am GMT

Iga Swiatek wins the first set! She breaks Kasatkina again, firing a winner down the line to clinch it 6-2. She’s halfway to booking a fourth-round meeting with either Cirstea or Pavlyuchenkova.

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Poland’s Iga Swiatek takes the first set. Photograph: Paul Crock/AFP/Getty Images

Updated at 9.08am GMT

8.56am GMT

Alex De Minaur has broken Andujar for a second time – and this time backs up the break, coming in to the net to close out with a volley. His friend and mentor, Lleyton Hewitt, nods approvingly in the stands. De Minaur leads 5-3 in the first set.

8.53am GMT

After easing into the fourth round earlier, Daniil Medvedev looked to build bridges with the home crowd after hitting out at “low IQ” fans shouting during his previous win over Nick Kyrgios.

“I was hoping you were going to be a bit easier on me guys,” the No 2 seed said after his win over Botic van de Zandschulp. “I’ll put it this way, it’s a little easier to play a guy from the Netherlands than a guy from Australia in Melbourne.”

“I think every good relationship has it’s ups and down but it’s good,” the Russian told the Margaret Court Arena crowd. “It’s entertaining, it’s real. It’s not like ‘hi guys, okay, whatever, I’ll see you next time’, there is some relationship going on.”

“Hopefully I can come many more years here. As I say, I don’t think it’ll only be good ones but I hope it’ll be more good times than bad ones, otherwise it won’t work.”

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Daniil Medvedev in post match interview. Photograph: Dave Hunt/AAP

Updated at 9.04am GMT

8.43am GMT

Over on the Margaret Court Arena, Iga Swiatek has an early break against Russia’s Daria Kasatkina, who has missed break chances of her own. The No 7 seed leads 4-1.

Taro Daniel has taken the second set off Sinner, 6-1, while it’s already developed into a baseline slugfest between Andújar and De Minaur, with the first set still on serve.

8.37am GMT

Six players have made it through to the women’s last 16 so far on Saturday. They include Simona Halep , who was too strong for Danka Kovinic, unable to repeat her heroics against Emma Raducanu in the second round.

No 2 seed Aryna Sabalenka came back from a set down to win for the third match in a row, getting the better of former French Open finalist Marketa Vondrousova. Danielle Collins also fought back to win an epic battle with rising star Clara Tauson.

Kaia Kanepi also dropped the first set but recovered to end the run of Aussie wildcard Maddison Inglis, and Alize Cornet got the better of Tamara Zidansek in a near three-hour encounter. Elise Mertens , the No 19 seed, took just over an hour to see off China’s Zhang Shuai.

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Simona Halep safely into the next round. Photograph: Robert Prange/Getty Images

Updated at 8.46am GMT

8.30am GMT

Alex De Minaur is up and running on Rod Laver, breaking Andújar in the first game – but the Spaniard quickly earns a chance to break straight back, and outmuscles his opponent in an early rally to level.

Elsewhere Taro Daniel , the conqueror of Andy Murray, lost the first set to rising star Jannik Sinner, but leads 4-0 in the second.

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Alex de Minaur of Australia returns the ball during his third round match against Pablo Andujar of Spain . Photograph: Dave Hunt/AAP

Updated at 8.35am GMT

8.25am GMT

So, what’s been happening overnight? In the men’s draw, Daniil Medvedev eased past Botic van de Zandschulp in straight sets and Stefanos Tsitsipas got through in four sets against Benoît Paire.

Taylor Fritz edged out Roberto Bautista Agut in a five-set battle, fighting back from 2-1 down. He’s joined by compatriot Maxime Cressy in the last 16, the world No 70 ending the run of Aussie wildcard Chris O’Connell in four sets.

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Daniil Medvedev through in straight sets. Photograph: Paul Crock/AFP/Getty Images

Updated at 8.44am GMT

8.10am GMT

Félix Auger-Aliassime beats Dan Evans in straight sets

British hopes in the singles draws are over, with Dan Evans well beaten by Canada’s Félix Auger-Aliassime, who wrapped up a 6-4, 6-1, 6-1 win moments ago. It was a decent scrap in the first set, before the No 9 seed pulled away in style. He’ll face Rublev or Cilic in the next round.

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Victorious: Felix Auger-Aliassime of Canada celebrates after defeating Daniel Evans in straight sets. Photograph: Simon Baker/AP
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Felix Auger-Aliassime celebrates victory in his third round match against Dan Evans. Photograph: James Gourley/REX/Shutterstock

Updated at 8.27am GMT

8.07am GMT

Preamble

Hello. Home fans have been waiting since 1978 for an Australian singles champion in either of the showpiece events at their home slam, and while all the expectation is on Ash Barty, the women’s world No 1, they still have a dark horse left in the men’s draw.

Alex De Minaur kicks off the evening session on Rod Laver Arena against wily Spanish veteran Pablo Andújar. After that, women’s No 10 seed and three-time Melbourne quarter-finalist Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova takes on a tricky unseeded opponent in Romania’s Sorana Cirstea.

Elsewhere, former French Open champ Iga Swiatek will look to show her title credentials against Daria Kasatkina, before what could be a classic, heavy-hitting encounter between Andrey Rublev and Marin Cilic. Stay tuned.

Updated at 8.12am GMT

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