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Melissa Woods

Hungry Rublev chasing Open quarter-final

Russian Andrey Rublev has marched into the Australian Open fourth round in impressive style. (Joel Carrett/AAP PHOTOS) (AAP)

After a gifted banana helped power Andrey Rublev into the Australian Open fourth round, the hungry Russian is now eyeing a Danish delight.

Fifth seed Rublev cashed in on his opponent's rare generosity, with a banana from top-ranked Brit Dan Evans helping him deliver a ruthless 6-4 6-2 6-3 victory on Saturday.

He will next face ninth-seeded Dane Holger Rune, who overcame a nasty fall early in the second set to eliminate Frenchman Ugo Humbert 6-4 6-2 7-6 (7-5).

Mid-match world No.30 Evans showed his class when he gave 25-year-old Rublev one of his bananas at the changeover but he may have regretted such kindness.

"I asked the ball boy for a banana but Danny asked for bananas earlier and he had two so he threw me one," a smiling Rublev said.

"He helped me with some energy for sure - I win an extra two games because I eat the banana."

Balancing touch and finesse with some power hitting, Rublev hit 60 winners to 20 from Evans in the clinical two-hour, nine-minute performance that also included 10 aces.

He is looking to eclipse his previous best Open run - reaching the quarter-finals in 2021 - while he has never gone further than the last eight at any major.

Rublev was satisfied with his showing and felt his confidence was growing with each match.

Russian Andrey Rublev has marched into the Australian Open fourth round in impressive style. (Joel Carrett/AAP PHOTOS) (AAP)

He came into the Open in questionable form after losing both matches he played in the two Adelaide tournaments, losing to home hope Thanasi Kokkinakis and Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut.

"Every match I'm playing better and better and I'm really happy because at the beginning of the season I lost a couple of tough matches against great players," Rublev said.

"I lost a bit of confidence and I'm happy that since the first match here I'm playing really good tennis and I'm improving."

Teen star Rune fell heavily, rolling his ankle as he chased down a shot in the first game of the second set, with a concerned Humbert crossing the net to check on his opponent.

Play was stopped on John Cain Arena for five minutes as the world No.10 had medical treatment, also hurting his wrist in the fall.

But Rune was able to shake off the injury and continue his best ever Open run, coming after his break-out 2022 when he beat Novak Djokovic to win his first Masters title, in Paris.

He also reached the quarter-finals at Roland Garros and the third round of the US Open.

Rune was relieved the injury didn't affect his play.

"I was a bit worried - my ankle is good but my wrist was hurting a bit," the 19-year-old said.

"Of course it was painful but I tried to focus on something else - I'm playing on such an amazing stage and in the third round of a grand slam so I didn't think about it. I just kept going."

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