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Carlos Alcaraz cruises into 4th round at Australian Open; Tommy Paul out

Carlos Alcaraz cruises into 4th round at Australian Open; Tommy Paul out

MELBOURNE, Australia — Carlos Alcaraz cruised into the fourth round of the Australian Open when his opponent, Shang Juncheng, retired early in the third set of their third-round encounter Saturday.

Alcaraz, the No. 2 seed, was leading the 18-year-old 6-1, 6-1, 1-0 when Shang, who had his right thigh heavily strapped from the start, called it a day after just 66 minutes.

“It’s not the way you want to move on,” said Alcaraz, who missed last year’s event through injury himself. “Last year I was watching the matches from my couch, wishing to be in the second week.

“This is my first time in the second week at the Australian Open and it feels special.”

Alcaraz will play Miomir Kecmanovic, who saved a match point as he beat last year’s semifinalist Tommy Paul 6-4, 3-6, 2-6, 7-6 (7), 6-0.

American Paul led by two sets to one on Margaret Court Arena and had a match point in the fourth-set tiebreak, but Kecmanovic levelled and then ripped through the deciding set for victory.

“Honestly, I have no idea,” Kecmanovic said of his victory. “I guess it was just supposed to be my day today. I had a bit more luck and I played some fantastic tennis at the end. I’m really happy to be in the fourth round again.”

Daniil Medvedev raced into the second week of the Australian Open with a 6-3 6-4 6-3 victory over Felix Auger-Aliassime, showing few signs of fatigue after his marathon late-night outing in the second round.

The Russian third seed, who came from two sets down to beat Emil Ruusuvuori well into the early hours of Friday morning, looked at his clinical best as he eased into the fourth round for fifth time.

“It was tough, especially after the last match I had but happy to play some good level,” said Medvedev, who took his career record against Auger-Aliassime to 7-0.

“I tried to always give him tough shots so I didn’t have to run too much and in the third set I managed to find some shots, so happy with the level of my game.”

The pair went to five sets in the quarter-finals two years ago at Melbourne Park before Medvedev prevailed after saving a match point but Auger-Aliassime came nowhere near the level he displayed that night.

The error-prone Canadian 27th seed showed some fight to prevent Medvedev from winning the match with a sixth break but the Russian served out comfortably enough to seal the victory in just over two hours.

Medvedev, back-to-back losing finalist in Melbourne in 2021 and 2022, moves on to a meeting with…

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