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Stefanos Tsitsipas tested, Andrey Rublev races into Australian Open third round
They came into the 2022 Australian Open with questions surrounding their match fitness, but the No. 4 and No. 5 seeds have dispelled all doubts.
Published Jan 20, 2022
MATCH POINT: Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE) def. Sebastian Baez (ARG) in the 2022 Australian Open second round
They came into the 2022 Australian Open with questions surrounding their match fitness, but No. 4 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas and No. 5 Andrey Rublev have both done their best to dispel doubts as they made their way into the third round.
Here’s how it all unfolded:
 Stefanos Tsitsipas def. Sebastian Baez, 7-6(1), 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-4
The fourth-seeded Greek first made his Grand Slam breakthrough at this venue in 2019 with a run to the semifinals, and he seemed right at home on Margaret Court Arena as he took on Sebastian Baez. The Argentine was in the main draw of a major for the first time after taking out Albert Ramos-Vinolas in the first round, and he did well to keep pace with Tsitsipas across the first two sets.
But Tsitsipas raised his level in the third and fourth sets, and he tallied 44 winners including 12 aces on his way to victory. It’s an encouraging sign for Tsitsipas, who spent part of his off-season recovering from an elbow injury and subsequent surgery.
“I feel like I'm getting physically better in every single one of my matches,” Tsitsipas said. “My elbow hasn't been bothering me since Sydney. I see a very good progression since then, and I'm happy to be able to play that way.”
Tsitsipas will next face Benoit Paire, who authored a dramatic 6-4, 6-4, 6-7(7), 7-6(2) upset over No. 26 seed Grigor Dimitrov.
 Andrey Rublev def. Ricardas Berankis, 6-4, 6-2, 6-0
Like Tsitsipas, No. 5 seed Rublev arrived in Melbourne looking for matches. The Russian’s short off-season was derailed after testing positive for COVID-19, and he told press after his first-round match that he was still struggling to overcome fatigue—though you wouldn’t know it from the scores he’s been posting.
Rublev booked his place into the third round with a comfortable 6-4, 6-2, 6-0 win over Ricardas Berankis. A quarterfinalist Down Under in 2021, he struck 35 winners, including 13 aces, to win in an hour and 47 minutes.
The fifth seed will next face No. 27 Marin Cilic, who overcame Slovakian qualifier Norbert Gombos 6-2, 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(6).
Elsewhere, Arthur Rinderknech of France withdrew with a wrist injury, sending 24th seed Dan Evans through to the third round.