Mertens, Halep knocked out; Halep, Auger-Aliassime, Medvedev in action


First, Medvedev must come through against the huge serving Maxime Cressy, who took down 28 aces and made just four double faults against Australian Chris O’Connell in his third round victory.

Medvedev, the de facto top-class men’s squad following the deportation of defending champion Novak Djokovic on the eve of the Grand Slam, said some fans at Melbourne Park had “low IQ” after cracking him in his win over Australian showman Nick Kyrgios .

But he turned enemies into friends and said he enjoyed his relationship with the Australian fans after sending unseeded Dutchman Botic van de Zandschulp away to reach the last 16.

“Every good relationship has to have its ups and downs, so I think it’s good, it’s entertaining and it’s real, there’s a relationship going on,” Medvedev said.

Should the Russian beat Paris-born American Cressy, he will play either the 2018 Melbourne runner-up Marin Cilic or the young Canadian ninth seed Felix Auger-Aliassime.

On the hunt for a major, Greek Tsitsipas plays American Taylor Fritz in a night game at the Rod Laver Arena and is wary of the 20th seed.

“Great server, great batter,” Tsitsipas said. “He’s got guns. I’ll really have to stay consistent and push him back.”

Tsitsipas has his own weapons – he didn’t drop a service game against Benoit Paire in the third round.

“I feel it will be very important to stay consistent with my shots and my serve,” he added.

Monday’s other last-16 men’s game features Australian hopeful Alex de Minaur against Italy’s 11th-seeded Jannik Sinner.

– Sabalenka finds serving –
Belarus second-seeded Aryna Sabalenka managed to get rid of some of the serving yips that plagued her early season in a third-round win against Marketa Vondrousova.

She will close out the evening and stay on track for a first major if she can get past unseeded Estonian veteran Kaia Kanepi.

The reward for the winner is a quarter-final against the seventh-seeded Iga Swiatek from Poland or Sorana Cirstea from Romania.

Former world number one Simona Halep has barely suffered, having dropped just 12 games in three games so far.

The Romanian two-time Grand Slam champion will now face the self-proclaimed “dinosaur” Alize Cornet of France, who turned 32 on Saturday and knocked out Garbine Muguruza in the second round in third seed.

Halep, who won a warm-up tournament in Melbourne, defeated Danka Kovinic – conquering US Open champion Emma Raducanu – 6-2, 6-1 on Saturday and is looking back on her best after an injury-ravaged 2021.

“It’s always been a tough game against Alize,” she said.

“Actually, I expect a tough fight. She fights to the end and never gives up. I’m the same, so hopefully it will be a good game.”

Opening proceedings at the Rod Laver Arena is American 27th-seeded Danielle Collins, a semi-finalist in Melbourne three years ago, against 19th-seeded Belgian Elise Mertens.

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