© Peter Staples/ATP Tour

Andrey Rublev has not dropped a set en route to the Australian Open third round.

Rublev Continues Fast Pace At Australian Open

Russian makes fast work of his path through first two rounds

Andrey Rublev completed the second leg of what has been a sprint into the Australian Open third round, racing past Ricardas Berankis, 6-4, 6-2, 6-0 on Thursday.

After spending one hour, 24 minutes on court against Gianluca Mager in the opening round, the Russian needed just one hour, 47 minutes to ease past his Lithuanian opponent in Kia Arena.

Breaks in the opening game of each set gave the fifth seed a stress-free afternoon, and a dominant serving performance powered home those advantages. Rublev dropped six first-serve points on the day and did not face a break point until the match’s final game, where he used two aces (among 13 total) and two more big deliveries to brush off four of them.

The clinical serving was an improvement from the first round, when he dropped serve once on five break points in what was his 2022 debut. The 24-year-old previously spoke of feeling “double pressure” following a COVID-induced layoff to start the year, but has settled in nicely with six dominant sets to kickstart his new year.

On Thursday, Rublev’s unrelenting power on both serve and return wore down the World No. 93 and ultimately paved the way for a third-set knockout.

Rublev continues to do his part to set up an all-Russian quarter-final clash with Daniil Medvedev, who faces Nick Kyrgios in Rod Laver Arena Thursday evening. But first he will turn his attention to his third-round opponent, 27th seed Marin Cilic, who defeated Slovakian qualifier Norbert Gombos 6-2, 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(6).

A four-time Grand Slam quarter-finalist, including a year ago in Melbourne, Rublev is chasing his first career Slam semi-final this fortnight.

No. 20 seed Taylor Fritz won an all-American battle with Frances Tiafoe 6-4, 6-3, 7-6(5) to set a third-round meeting with 15th seeded Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut, who enjoyed a commanding 6-1, 6-0, 6-3 win over German veteran Philipp Kohlschreiber.

Australian No. 32 seed Alex de Minaur advanced to the third round with a 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 win over Poland’s Kamil Majchrzak. De Minaur next faces Spaniard Pablo Andujar, who took out Solvakian Alex Molcan 6-4, 7-6(6), 0-6, 6-1.

"It was a very solid win. Came out, did everything I needed to do. It always feels good to get my first win on Rod Laver," De Minaur said.

British 24th seed Daniel Evans received a walkover into the third round when Frenchman Arthur Rinderknech withdrew before the match with a wrist injury.

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