Jannik Sinner, Andrey Rublev book Australian Open quarterfinal match

League: Tennis

Posted on: 21 Jan, 2024 at 04:31 PM

Credit: Mike Frey-USA TODAY Sports

Jannik Sinner and Andrey Rublev crashed into the Australian Open quarterfinals in late action on Sunday in Melbourne, setting up a clash between the world's No. 4 and No. 5 players, respectively.

Sinner, of Italy, earned his way there with a 6-4, 7-5, 6-3 win over Karen Khachanov of Russia, the 15th seed.

Rublev, another Russian, moved out of the fourth round following a come-from-behind 6-4, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (4), 6-3, 6-0 win over the No. 10 seed, home-country favorite Alex de Minaur, in four hours, 15 minutes.

Sinner sailed through the second and third rounds by losing just 10 games in six sets, but Khachanov provided a tougher test. The Russian ultimately was undone by his failure to break Sinner's serve, converting just one of 10 breaks. On the other hand, Sinner capitalized on five of his eight break chances.

"It was for sure a different match today," Sinner said, comparing the match against Khachanov to his earlier outings in the tournament. "I felt like we both were hitting the ball really well from the back of the court. Every match is obviously different. It's a pleasure to be here (in the quarterfinals). Obviously happy with the outcome of the match."

At 22, Sinner will be playing in his sixth Grand Slam-quarterfinal -- second most ever by an Italian man. He reached the semifinals at Wimbledon in 2023 but lost in straight sets to Novak Djokovic.

Rublev will be playing in his 10th Grand Slam quarterfinal but has yet to reach a semifinal.

Sunday's victory was the 300th career victory for the 26-year-old Rublev. The highly partisan Australian crowd was thrilled when de Minaur won the second and third sets in tiebreaks to take a 2-1 lead, but Rublev broke de Minaur's opening serve in each of the final two sets to shift the momentum.

The Australian was able to convert only three of his 16 break chances, while Rublev cashed in on eight of 13.

Sinner holds a 6-2 edge in head-to-head matchups against Rublev. Their quarterfinal match is set for Tuesday.

Also earning their way to a quarterfinal showdown were top-seeded Serbian Novak Djokovic, who defeated No. 20 seed Adrian Mannarino of France 6-0, 6-0, 6-3, and Taylor Fritz. The American, the 12th seed, beat seventh-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece 7-6 (3), 5-7, 6-3, 6-3.

Fritz finished with 50 winners against 19 unforced errors for the match. He will be making his first appearance in the Australian Open quarterfinals when he meets Djokovic on Tuesday.

"I think I served well, the whole match, it kept me in it," Fritz said. "And then at the very end when I really needed it, I feel like I just, I turned it up a level and started playing my absolute best tennis to finish it."

--Field Level Media