MATCH POINT: Stefanos Tsitsipas is so locked in that he doesn't realize he's defeated Benoit Paire in their 2022 Australian Open third-round match.

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In an Australian Open men’s draw full of opportunity, two of the tournament’s top title contenders have booked their place into the second week with an emphatic showing on Saturday. World No. 2 Daniil Medvedev wasted no time in clinching his victory over a familiar face as he stays on track for a historic first in Melbourne.

A few minutes after Medvedev won through on Rod Laver Arena, No. 4 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas closed out a confident win of his own on Margaret Court Arena. He needed four sets to see off the always-tricky Benoit Paire in a match that delighted fans with brilliant shotmaking from both.

Elsewhere, a pair of American players clinched Grand Slam breakthroughs as No. 20 seed Taylor Fritz and unseeded Maxime Cressy charged into the fourth round at a major for the first time.

Here’s how it happened:

No. 4 Stefanos Tsitsipas def. Benoit Paire, 6-3, 7-5, 6-7(2), 6-4

Stefanos Tsitsipas reached his first Grand Slam semifinal here in Melbourne back in 2019, and he’s found great success in the years that followed after equalling that result again last year.

He’s been using that familiar ground to his advantage throughout the fortnight—despite being tested in his early encounters as he makes his way back from the lingering right elbow injury that prematurely ended his 2021 season. There were no signs of discomfort as Tsitsipas fired 21 aces against Benoit Paire to win in four sets.

“Benoit is one of the biggest challenges in our game. He has a lot of talent and feel for the game, so it’s a very important victory for me today and it was special to play in this arena and share it with the crowd.”

Although the Frenchman was playing better and better as the match unfolded, he didn’t have enough to really trouble Tsitsipas as he offered up 50 unforced errors. And for his part, Tsitsipas was so locked in that he didn’t realize he had won after claiming match point: he was lining up to go towel off and keep fighting.

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Tsitsipas will next face No. 20 seed Taylor Fritz, who is through to the fourth round at a Grand Slam for the first time after taking out Roberto Bautista Agut in a 6-0, 3-6, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 rollercoaster.

"It's huge. After the match I was close to tearing up a bit," Fritz said. "It seems stupid because so many people have made the second week of Slams, but it has eluded me for so long. I've had a lot of tough draws and I've never had a great look at it."

No. 2 Daniil Medvedev def. Botic van de Zandschulp, 6-4, 6-4, 6-2

By contrast, both top seed Daniil Medvedev and his fourth-round opponent Maxime Cressy had much more straightforward roads into the second week at the Australian Open. Medvedev, who reached the final here last year, cruised in straight sets in just under two hours.

It was their second consecutive Grand Slam meeting after their US Open quarterfinal clash last year, where Van de Zandschulp was the only player to take a set from Medvedev in his title-winning run. But the ultimate result was the same, and Medvedev fired 26 winners, including 10 aces, to seal the victory.

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“I am really happy because every round at a Grand Slam is very tough,” Medvedev said in his on-court interview. “Even today the score doesn’t show this, but I feel like it was a much tighter match than the score showed.”

Medvedev, who is bidding to become the first man in the Open Era to win a second Grand Slam singles title at his next major event, will take on unseeded American Maxime Cressy in the fourth round.

Cressy started the season with a career breakthrough as he reached his first ATP final in Melbourne, falling to Rafael Nadal in the last hurdle. The 24-year-old American continued the momentum against home hope Christopher O’Connell, as he serve-and-volleyed his way to a 6-2, 6-7(6), 6-3, 6-2 victory to end the Aussie’s dream run.