Alex de Minaur and Ash Barty are the only two Aussies remaining in the singles main draw after Christopher O’Connell and Maddison Inglis were bundled out on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Dylan Alcott will begin his final Australian Open campaign tomorrow, playing after Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis on Kia Arena.
De Minaur moves into uncharted territory
World No. 42 Alex de Minaur has progressed into the fourth round of the Australian Open for the first time in his career.
The 22-year-old Aussie was at his brilliant best in a sizzling performance on Rod Laver Arena.
Spanish veteran Pablo Andujar was broken in the very first game of the match, before fighting back to break de Minaur to level the scores.
De Minaur’s court coverage was superb, hitting shots from all over the court and creating magnificent angles with his stroke-play, leading to him taking the first set.
The Aussie would break the 83rd-ranked Andujar in just the third game of the second set to consolidate his big lead in the match.
The 35-year-old Spaniard could only applaud his opponent as de Minaur brought up set point with a skillful lob. The Australian crowd rose as de Minaur took the set the next game.
Australian legend Rod Laver was in his own arena to watch Australia’s brightest male tennis prospect since a young Lleyton Hewitt took centre stage on the same court at the start of the millennium.
De Minaur did not disappoint the 11-time Grand Slam winner, taking the win, 6-4 6-4 6-2.
The 32nd-seed will face Italian Jannik Sinner on Monday for a spot in the quarter-final.
Big American serves O’Connell his marching orders
Court 3 has generally equated to a rowdy crowd at Melbourne Park throughout the Australian Open this week. It happened again on Saturday as Christopher O’Connell faced Maxime Cressy in front of a packed house.
O’Connell, an Australian wildcard, had the crowd on their feet in the very first game, hitting a sensational backhand down-the-line winner as he looked to break the American early.
The big-serving world No. 70 had other ideas and was able to utilise his impressive serve-volley game to take the first set off O’Connell.
Ranked 175th in the world, O’Connell sent a hush through the crowd when he went off towards the end of the first set, suffering what appeared to be a hip injury. After six minutes off the court with the physio, the Australian returned.
With the temperature peaking at 32 degrees on a warm day in the Victorian capital, Cressy won 18 points in a row on serve.
But it wasn’t enough, as the 27-year-old Aussie won a second-set tiebreaker in which Cressy had two set points of his own.
O’Connell dropped to a 2-0 deficit early in the third set, as Cressy was able to dominate at the net.
The 27-year-old Aussie was unable to break the 24-year-old, as Cressy hit a huge smash to win the third set.
The fourth set was dominated by the American, who took the win, 6-3 6-7(6) 6-3 6-2.
Cressy has won more matches than any other male in 2022, hitting a staggering 28 aces from 64 first serves on Saturday. He will face world No. 2, Daniil Medvedev, in the fourth round.
A famous golden run ends
Maddison Inglis decimated Kaia Kanepi in the first set of their encounter on Rod Laver Arena. The West Australian jumped to a 4-0 lead before eventually taking the set in just 31 minutes.
The 36-year-old Estonian veteran fought back in the second set to equally dominate, hitting Inglis off the court to send the match into a decider.
Former world No. 15 Kanepi hit six winners in the third set to capitalise on an error-riddled Inglis, who hit 12 unforced errors, to win the final set in just 25 minutes.
Kanepi’s 2-6 6-2 6-0 win sends her into the fourth round of the Australian Open for the first time, after 12 previous attempts.
Kanepi’s, 2-6 6-2 6-0, win sends her into the fourth round of the Australian Open for the first time, after 12 previous attempts.
Reaching the third round of a Grand Slam and earning $221,000 will help Inglis as she moves towards becoming a top-100 regular throughout 2022.
Matthew Ebden and Max Purcell won a classic encounter on 1573 Arena, knocking out fourth seeds Robert Farah and Juan Sebastian Cabal in a stirring comeback.
Dropping the first set, the Aussie paid clicked into gear in the second set and took the win, 3-6 6-3 7-5.
Top seeds Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova made light work of Monique Adamczak/Xinyun Han on John Cain Arena, winning 6-3 6-3.
More Tennis News
It was a busy day of mixed doubles for the Aussies on Day Six at Melbourne Park.
An incredible third-set super-tiebreaker was needed to separate Jaimee Fourlis and Jason Kubler against Nina Stojanovic and Mate Pavic on Court 15.
Both pairs managed to take a set each, requiring the super-tiebreaker. Normally, a super-tiebreak will be first to ten points, but you need to win by two.
Remarkably, the Australian pairing ground out the victory, winning 17-15 to advance to the next round.
Number two seeds Shuai Zhang and John Peers made light work of Andreja Klepac and Joran Vliegen, winning 6-1 6-4 in just 52 minutes.
Wildcards Astra Sharma and John-Patrick Smith were unable to make any inroads on Lucie Hradecka and Gonzalo Escobar, going down 6-3 6-4.
A marathon second-set tiebreaker was the highlight of Ena Shibahara and Ben McLachlan’s win over Storm Sanders and Neal Skupski. The Japanese pair withheld the attack of their opponents to win, 6-3 7-6(8).
Samantha Stosur and Matthew Ebden ensured their safe passage into the second round, defeating Asia Muhammed and Fabrice Martin, 6-2 7-6(3).
John Peers and Shuai Zhang will be fresh heading into round two, needing just 52 minutes to knock off Andreja Klepac and Joran Vliegen, 6-1 6-4.
Aussies in Action on Day Seven
12:30pm: Kevin Krawietz/Andreas Miles  vs John Peers/Filip Polasek  John Cain Arena
1:00pm: Ellen Perez/Matwe Middelkoop [WC] vs Sania Mirza/Rajeev Ram Court 3
1:00pm: Tom Egberink vs Ben Weekes [WC] Court 7
2:30pm: Jason Kubler/Christopher O’Connell [WC] vs Tim Puetz/Michael Venus  John Cain Arena
4:00pm: Thanasi Kokkinakis/Nick Kyrgios [WC] vs Ariel Behar/Gonzalo Escobar  Kia Arena
5:00pm: Kristina Mladenovic/Ivan Dodig  vs Arina Rodionova/Marc Polmans [WC] Court 17
5:30pm: Ash Barty  vs Amanda Anisimova Rod Laver Arena
5:30pm: Heath Davidson vs Koji Sugeno Court 8
5:30pm: Dylan Alcott  vs Niels Vink Kia Arena
Times are subject to change at the discretion of the Australian Open.
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