MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Highlights of the sixth day at the Australian Open, the first Grand Slam tournament of the year, on Saturday (times AEDT; GMT+11):
2230 MEDVEDEV RACES INTO LAST-16
Fourth seed Daniil Medvedev needed less than two hours to beat local hope Alexei Popyrin 6-4 6-3 6-2 as the Russian reached the fourth round and matched his best run at Melbourne Park.
He will next face 2014 champion Stan Wawrinka.
Seventh seed Alexander Zverev racked up 34 winners as he eased past Spain’s Fernando Verdasco 6-2 6-2 6-4 to reach the fourth round in Melbourne for a second straight year.
Former world number one Garbine Muguruza, whose Australian Open preparations were affected by a viral illness, showed no lingering effects as she mowed down fifth seed Elina Svitolina of Ukraine 6-1 6-2.
Swiss Stan Wawrinka won the opening set 6-4 and raced ahead 4-1 in the second before his American opponent John Isner withdrew from the third-round contest due to injury.
Russian Andrey Rublev, the winner of two titles this year, continued his unbeaten start to 2020 by beating David Goffin 2-6 7-6(3) 6-4 7-6(4) while Austrian fifth seed Dominic Thiem also advanced after overcoming Taylor Fritz 6-2 6-4 6-7(5) 6-4.
1718 NADAL BEATS CARRENO BUSTA IN ALL-SPANISH AFFAIR
World number one Rafa Nadal continued his quest for a 20th Grand Slam title by gliding past 27th seed Pablo Carreno Busta 6-1 6-2 6-4, extending his winning streak against Spanish opposition to 18 matches stretching back to 2016.
Earlier, 10th seed Gael Monfils overcame Latvian qualifier Ernests Gulbis 7-6(2) 6-4 6-3 to reach the last 16 at Melbourne for the first time since 2017.
Fourth seed Simona Halep, the 2018 runner-up, produced a solid performance to overcome Kazakhstan’s Yulia Putintseva 6-1 6-4 in their first meeting and move into the second week.
Unseeded Polish teenager Iga Swiatek knocked out 19th seed Donna Vekic 7-5 6-3 to reach the fourth round and match her best performance at a Grand Slam having reached the last 16 at Roland Garros last year.
Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit thrashed Swiss sixth seed Belinda Bencic 6-0 6-1, as the seeds continue to tumble. Kontaveit, who won the first nine games before Bencic got on the board, took just 49 minutes to advance.
“I felt so good today. It felt like everything I did went well so I’m happy with that performance. I served quite well and I was aggressive and I was doing the things I wanted to do really well,” Kontaveit said in a courtside interview.
Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova stunned Czech second seed Karolina Pliskova 7-6(4) 7-6(3) in an encounter between two former Australian Open junior champions. The 30th seed takes on Angelique Kerber in the next round.
German Angelique Kerber, seeded 17th, defeated Camila Giorgi 6-2 6-7(4) 6-3 to improve her head-to-head record against the Italian to 5-0.
Giorgi struck an impressive 49 winners to Kerber’s 15 but the 28-year-old was undone by 65 unforced errors.
Second seed Karolina Pliskova gets play underway on Rod Laver Arena hoping she does not follow Serena Williams and last year’s champion Naomi Osaka out of the tournament after they were both upset in their third-round matches on Friday.
The Czech faces 30th-seeded Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the first match on the main showcourt while three-times Grand Slam champion Angelique Kerber opens play on Margaret Court Arena against Italy’s Camila Giorgi.
There should be no disruptions to play with no chance of rain and only a moderate high of 26 Celsius (78.8 Fahrenheit) expected.
Compiled by Greg Stutchbury, Shrivathsa Sridhar and Hardik Vyas; Editing by Peter Rutherford, Sam Holmes and Clare Fallon