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Banana power gets Rublev over the line against Evans

Russia's Andrey Rublev reacts as he plays against Britain's Dan Evans. ©AFP

Melbourne (AFP) - Fifth seed Andrey Rublev surged into the last 16 of the Australian Open Saturday and thanked opponent Dan Evans for giving him extra energy by donating a banana mid-match.

The Russian crushed the Briton 6-4, 6-2, 6-3 on Margaret Court Arena to make the tournament fourth round for a third time.

He will face either unseeded Frenchman Ugo Humbert or Danish teenager and ninth seed Holger Rune for a place in the quarter-finals.

Despite being world number six Rublev, who has won 13 ATP titles, has never been further than the last eight at any Grand Slam.

He moved a step closer by defeating his friend and 25th seed Evans, who threw a banana to him at a changeover when he ran out.

"I didn't ask him, I asked the ball boy, but Danny asked for bananas earlier and he had two so he just said 'take it', and I caught it," he said.

"He helped me with some energy, for sure.I have extra for sure because I eat banana," he joked.

Rublev, who was defeated twice in warm-up events ahead of the tournament, said he was growing in confidence as the Grand Slam progressed.

"Every match I'm playing better and better and I'm really happy because at the beginning of the season I lost to a couple of players," he said.

"I lost a bit of confidence, but since the first match (in Melbourne) I've been playing really good tennis."   

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