Red-hot Russians march on at the Open

·2-min read

Newly crowned ATP Cup winners Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev have continued their unbeaten summers to march into the Australian Open second round.

Two days after guiding Russia to glory over Italy in the final of the prestigious teams' event, Medvedev and Rublev returned to Melbourne Park to notch another couple of statement straight-set wins.

Fourth-seeded Medvedev crushed Canadian Vasek Pospisil 6-2 6-2 6-4 while the seventh-seeded Rublev cast aside German Yannick Hanfmann 6-3 6-3 6-4.

Given Russia's gruelling workload last week, Medvedev - the 2019 US Open runner-up and 2020 ATP Finals winner - was relieved to have only been on court for less than two hours against Pospisil.

"To be honest, it's good in a way that we didn't lose a match (at the ATP Cup)," he said.

"But on the other side we played Sunday and a lot of tough matches against top-10 opponents.

"So I didn't know how I would be physically. Happy that I managed to finish it fast. I'm feeling good. Let's see how it goes after."

Rublev, the winner of a tour-best five titles last year, crunched 17 aces and broke his German opponent five times to book a date on Thursday with Brazilian Thiago Monteiro.

World No.6 Stefanos Tsitsipas set up a second-round showdown with Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis after powering past veteran Frenchman Gilles Simon 6-1 6-2 6-1 on Tuesday night.

Kokkinakis thundered down 19 aces in a 6-4 6-1 6-1 win over South Korea's Soonwoo Kwon earlier in the night.

Tsitsipas and Kokkinakis have never faced off in an ATP match, but they know each other well.

"I've known Thanasi for a long time. We've practised a lot of times, and he's a nice guy, but that won't really matter on the court," Tsitsipas said.

"He had a great comeback. I saw his match before, it seems like he's in good shape. His game is there. I'll take him seriously."

In other day-two results, Spanish teen Carlos Alcaraz downed fellow qualifier Botic Van de Zandschulp 6-1 6-4 6-4.

Making his major debut, Alcaraz, aged 17 and the youngest player in the draw, started with a bang, dropping just nine points in the first set against the Dutchman.

Alcaraz has been hailed as the next Rafael Nadal, and shared the practice court with his legendary countryman on Saturday.

Second seed Nadal, chasing a record 21st grand slam title, showed no signs of his recent back injury in a 6-3 6-4 6-1 win over Serb Laslo Djere.