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Alexander Zverev cruises into the fourth round at the Australian Open after a victory over Adrian Mannarino.

Zverev Maintains Mannarino Mastery To Reach Fourth Round

German now challenges Lajovic

Sixth seed Alexander Zverev kicked his Australian Open title bid into high gear on Friday with a commanding 6-3, 6-3, 6-1 victory over Adrian Mannarino to reach the fourth round. 

Zverev, who reached the semi-finals here last year, was facing Mannarino for the fourth time in less than six months when they met inside Rod Laver Arena. Each meeting has been a victorious but hard-fought affair for Zverev, who needed two tie-breaks in their most recent meeting at the Rolex Paris Masters to win 7-6(11), 6-7(7), 6-4.

It was much more straightforward for Zverev against Mannarino, with the German saving all three break points he faced and firing 19 aces and 35 winners en route to victory.

"It was a good match," said Zverev. "I thought I tried to play extremely aggressive, tried to use my chances, and I'm happy with the win. The past few times I played Adrian it was always a very long match, always a very tough match, and [I am] happy to get the straight-sets win today."

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Zverev dictated play with clean and patient hitting from the baseline, firing flat and aggressive shots to take time away from Mannarino and control the court. Mannarino struggled to read the German’s powerful serves, especially his second serve – which Zverev regularly hits with as much power and pace as most other players’ first serves. 

Mannarino’s return position forced him to either hit the ball high out of his strike zone or cede ground from the baseline. The Frenchman chose the former as he tried to stay aggressive, but as a result he wasn’t able to keep Zverev under pressure for more than a few stretches throughout the match.

“I didn't feel my best, probably because Sascha was playing too well,” said Mannarino. “He was really consistent, serving well, putting a lot of pressure [on me]. When you're on the other side of the net, you feel like you don't have that much time to play, and you need to serve really well. Otherwise, it's going to be complicated because he's serving too well. I think he was just too good.”

Zverev needed an hour and 43 minutes to move into the fourth round, where he will play No. 23 seed Dusan Lajovic of Serbia.

Lajovic equalled his best major championship result by beating Pedro Martinez of Spain 6-7(6), 7-5, 6-1, 6-4 in three hours and 13 minutes. The 30-year-old, who improved to 3-0 in his ATP Head2Head series against Martinez, struck 48 winners. He reached the fourth round on his Roland Garros debut in 2014.