Australian Open: Zverev beats Albot to advance into the fourth round; Berrettini beats Alcaraz

The world number three, still seeking the Grand Slam title that many have predicted for him, struggled with his serve at times but was always in full control as he set up a clash with Canadian Denis Shapovalov

Germany's Alexander Zverev in action during his third round match against Moldova's Radu Albot.   -  REUTERS

Alexander Zverev did not have it all his way but eased into the fourth round of the Australian Open without dropping a set after a 6-3 6-4 6-4 victory over Romanian qualifier Radu Albot on John Cain Arena on Friday.

The world number three, still seeking the Grand Slam title that many have predicted for him, struggled with his serve at times but was always in full control as he set up a clash with Canadian Denis Shapovalov.

READ: Australian Open: Krejcikova, Badosa and Azarenka win respective matches to reach fourth round

Albot, who plays much of his tennis on the second-tier challenger circuit, made a contest of the match but was unable to match the quality of the German's play in the decisive moments and failed to convert any of his five breakpoints.

Zverev, who reached the quarter-finals last year at Melbourne Park and lost to Dominic Thiem in the semi-finals in 2020, remained on course for a potential meeting with Rafa Nadal in the last eight.

Berrettini's comeback

World number seven Matteo Berrettini overcame a gripping fightback from teenage Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz to edge a heavyweight slugfest 6-2 7-6(3) 4-6 2-6 7-6 (10-5) on Friday and book his spot in the fourth round of the Australian Open.

The Italian won a final set super tie-break after an enchanting four hours and 10 minutes, the see-saw contest resembling more of a boxing match than tennis, on a balmy afternoon at the Rod Laver Arena.

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Matteo Berrettini (right), of Italy is congratulated by Carlos Alcarazn (left), of Spain after winning their third round match at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne.   -  AP

 

The 18-year-old Alcaraz, who won the NextGen ATP Finals in 2021, came into the match having defeated the Wimbledon runner-up in a final set tiebreaker in their only previous meeting at Vienna last October.

Berrettini had his revenge in a similar fashion but on a bigger stage.

"He's unbelievable," the Italian said on court about his opponent. "I think at his age I didn't even have ATP points.

The Italian will next meet either American Sebastian Korda or Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain for a place in the quarter-finals.

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