Melbourne: Daniil Medvedev finally worked out how to a win a five-setter. All by himself.
The fourth-seeded Medvedev was 0-6 in Grand Slam matches that went to five sets, and his Australian Open third-round match against No. 28-seeded Filip Krajinovic looked like it was going all the way.
After some angry outbursts from an increasingly animated and chatty Medvedev directed at his box in an otherwise empty Rod Laver Arena, fans have been banned as a COVID-19 precaution, his coach, Gilles Cervara, got up and left.
"He said just before leaving that he's sure I'm going to win the match. He's going to leave me alone to be more calm," Medvedev explained in his on-court TV interview after Saturday's 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 3-6, 6-0 win.
"It was a good thing to do. Luckily I won."
He'll have to face unseeded American Mackenzie McDonald in the next round. After that could be a quarterfinal against No. 7 Andrey Rublev, who helped him win the ATP Cup title for Russia last week. No. 2-ranked Rafael Nadal, a 20-time major winner, is also in his half of the draw.
Nadal extended his winning streak against fellow left-handers to 16 with a 7-5, 6-2, 7-5 victory over No. 69-ranked Cameron Norrie, reaching the fourth round at Melbourne Park for the 14th time in 16 trips.
In his immediate future is No. 16 Fabio Fognini, who had a straight-set win over Australia's last hope in the men's draw, 21st-seeded Alex de Minaur.
Seventh-seeded Rublev had a 7-5, 6-2, 6-3 win over Feliciano Lopez, ending the 39-year-old Spaniard's 75th consecutive major tournament.
The Russian men had one loss on Day 6, with No. 19 Karen Khachanov beaten by No. 9 Matteo Berrettini 7-6 (1), 7-6 (5), 7-6 (5). Berrettini will next play fifth-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas, a 6-4, 6-1, 6-1 winner over Mikael Ymer of Sweden.
Two women with titles already this year are through to the Round of 16.
Top-ranked Ash Barty, who won the Yarra Valley Classic last week for a title in her first tournament back from almost 12 months on the sidelines, beat Ekaterina Alexandrova of Russia 6-2, 6-4.
Barty next faces American Shelby Rogers, who beat No. 21 Anett Kontaveit 6-4, 6-3.
Elise Mertens, a 2018 Australian Open semifinalist who won the Gippsland Trophy tuneup tournament last week, had a 6-2, 6-1 victory over 11th-seeded Belinda Bencic. She'll take a seven-match winning streak into her next match against Karolina Muchova in the fourth round.
No. 25-seeded Muchova rallied from a 5-0 second-set deficit in near silence, which only made the turnaround seem more bizarre as she beat No. 6 Karolina Pliskova 7-5, 7-5.
No. 61-ranked Jessica Pegula had a 6-2, 6-1 win over Kristina Mladenovic and will next play No. 5-seeded Elina Svitolina, who won the last nine games to beat Yulia Putintseva 6-4,6-0.
No. 22 Jennifer Brady dropped only four games to advance to a fourth-round match against No. 28 Donna Vekic, who saved a match point and beat Kaia Kanepi 5-7, 7-6 (2), 6-4.
"I was really brave in some moments," Vekic said.
"I was like, 'OK, how am I a match point down? I don't want it to be over.'"