Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime defeated Argentinian Francisco Cerundolo 6-1, 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 to advance to the fourth round of the Australian Open.
The Montreal native fired nine aces and won 85 percent of first-serve points, in addition to catching six out of 20 chances for breaks.
He also had 38 winners versus Cerundolo’s 22 in a match played in Melbourne on Friday afternoon.
CLOCK | Auger-Aliassime defeats Cerundolo in Round 3:
After driving through the third set, Auger-Aliassime found himself quite challenged by Cerundolo in the fourth set.
After trailing 2-1, the 22-year-old Auger-Aliassime ran three consecutive games to take a 4-2 lead.
However, Cerundolo reduced the deficit thanks to a mistake by the Canadian after a forehand winner gave him the advantage from a two.
It then turned into a back-and-forth as the two would go head-to-head after each game won.
But that didn’t work in the Argentine’s favor as Auger-Aliassime drove through the final game and grabbed the match point with an ace.
In the women’s doubles, Canadian Gabriela Dabrowski and her partner Giuliana Olmos from Mexico beat American Shelby Rogers and Romanian Irina-Camelia Begu 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 in the opening round.
Dabrowski and Olmos fired three aces with just one double fault and won 73 percent of first serve points. They also broke on five out of nine occasions.
The third seeded duo had 25 winners versus 21 of their opponents.
Meanwhile, Canada’s Leylah Fernandez and Bethanie Mattek-Sands from the USA lost their first round match to Brazilian Beatriz Haddad Maia and China’s Zhang Shuai 7-6 (5), 4-6, 3-6.
After winning the opening set, Fernandez and Mattek-Sands fell apart in the second after a great start.
The duo won the first four games of the middle set. From there, Haddad Maia and Zhang took over with six straight games to win the set.
They built their momentum in the third, winning three of their first four games. Fernandez and Mattek-Sands couldn’t get closer than within two games of each other in hopes of a comeback.
Fernandez and Mattek-Sands broke on four of their 12 opportunities compared to their opponents who went 6-for-10.
Pegula, Gauff march into the 4th round
The American title favorites Jessica Pegula and Coco Gauff convinced in the third round on Friday.
Third-seeded Pegula, a quarter-finalist at Melbourne Park for the past two years, needed 65 minutes for a 6-0, 6-2 win over Marta Kostyuk. The seventh Gauff defeated Bernarda Pera 6-3, 6-2 to reach the last 16.
Pegula sped through the first set and although Kostyuk established herself in the second set, she always played catching up.
“I thought I just didn’t give away a lot of free points,” said Pegula, who will meet Barbora Krejcikova, the 2021 French Open champion, in the next round. “I played aggressively when I had to, but also smartly. I’m happy to have made it into the next round.”
Perfect by Pegula ✨@JLPegula storms in week 2️⃣ without dropping a set 👏@wwos • @espn • < a href="https://twitter.com/eurosport?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Eurosport • @wowowtennis • #OffOpen • #AO2023 pic.twitter.com/U1BcoBJBx8< /a>
Gauff had to withstand a barrage of big punches from Pera.
Top seed Iga Swiatek defeated Cristina Bucsa, a qualifier from Spain, 6-0, 6-1 in just 55 minutes. Last year’s finalist Danielle Collins of the USA was beaten 6-2, 5-7, 6-2 by Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina.
Krejcikova became the first player to advance to the fourth round after a 6-2, 6-3 win over Anhelina Kalinina to open Friday’s game at Rod Laver Arena.
The 20th-seeded Czech won the opening five games of the match, dominating her Ukrainian opponent. Krejcikova has not lost a set in three matches.
Tsitsipas advances to confront Sinner
For men, Stefanos Tsitsipas meets Jannik Sinner in the fourth round.
Third-placed Tsitsipas salvaged a set point in the second set but beat Tallon Griekspoor 6-2 7-6(5) 6-3 to reach the last 16 at Melbourne Park for the third time in four years.
Another straight sets success for Stef 🔥
Sinner bounced back from two sets down for the first time in his career as he defeated Marton Fucsovics 4-6 4-6 6-1 6-2 6-0 after 3 hours and 33 minutes and the last 12 games won.
“Certainly the first two sets were very tough for me,” said the 21-year-old Italian and 15th seeded player. “I went out on the pitch with one tactic, then I had to change a bit and go a little bit more on his backhand. We worked a lot physically in the off-season, so today I was physically good in the last few sets. “
Tsitsipas, the top-ranked player left in the men’s draw after the elimination of top seed and defending champion Rafael Nadal and No. 2 Casper Ruud, was pressed hard in the second set by 63rd Griekspoor.
The Dutchman had a set point for Tsitsipas’ serve at 6-5 in the second set but couldn’t convert it and Tsitsipas pulled away to win.
Tsitsipas and Sinner have played five times, with the Greek leading 4-1. The 24-year-old is a three-time semi-finalist at the Australian Open and was runner-up at the 2021 French Open behind Novak Djokovic. Sinner reached the quarterfinals in Melbourne last year.