After dropping a set in both of his opening two matches, Tsitsipas stepped it up a notch on Friday by blitzing rising French prospect Luca Van Assche 6-3 6-0 6-4 in two hours.

The Greek star, who lost to Djokovic in last year’s decider at Melbourne Park, had an answer for everything Van Assche threw at him on Rod Laver Arena.

Van Assche, 19, was aiming to become the youngest man to reach the fourth round of an Australian Open since Bernard Tomic in 2012.

“(Van Assche) tried his best and I felt like I had a little bit more experience under my belt and I’m absolutely delighted with the win, it means a lot to me,” Tsitsipas said.

“It’s (Australian Open) by far the best grand slam to compete in terms of player’s experience…it creates the best atmosphere for the players to be here…it feels almost like home.”

Seventh seed Tsitsipas will face world No.12 Taylor Fritz in the fourth round after the American recovered from a slow start to topple Hungary’s Fabian Marozsan 3-6 6-4 6-2 6-2.

Italian star Jannik Sinner and last year’s Australian Open finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas have stormed into the round of 16 with crushing third-round victories.

Fourth seed Sinner, who finished 2023 as arguably the most in-form player on tour, took less than two hours to advance, demolishing Argentine world No.29 Sebastian Baez 6-0 6-1 6-3.

Sinner is yet to drop a set at Melbourne Park this year, but his victory over the 26th seed was comfortably his most convincing performance yet.

“I felt like I was returning much better,” he said.

“I think in general I played really well and I feel great here.

“I have played now three times at 12(pm Australian time) so in Italy it’s two in the night … thank you to those who are watching from home. It’s a pleasure.”

Sinner will meet Karen Khachanov next on Sunday after the Russian 15th seed beat Czech Tomas Machac 6-4 7-6 (7-4) 4-6 7-6 (7-5) in a serving shootout on Kia Arena.

Khachanov cashed in on two of his three break-point opportunities to remain on course for a second straight semi-final appearance at Melbourne Park.

Sinner has defeated Khachanov in two of their previous three meetings, but the Russian won the pair’s only encounter at a slam, a five-set thriller at the 2020 US Open.

The red-hot Sinner looms as a potential quarter-final opponent for Australia’s great hope Alex de Minaur.

The 22-year-old’s best result at Melbourne Park is a quarter-final exit in 2022, and he is yet to reach a major final.

But he continues to boost his credentials in the hope of toppling 10-time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic.

Sinner beat the world No.1 twice in the space of a week in November and is continuing his hot run in Melbourne.

The pair could face each other in the semi finals.

Leave a Reply