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Anna Harrington

Building Tsitsipas beats Hijikata at Open

Stefanos Tsitsipas acknowledges the crowd after his latest impressive Australian Open triumph. (James Ross/AAP PHOTOS) (AAP)

Stefanos Tsitsipas is relishing working alongside former local hope Mark Philippoussis as he attempts to turn a red-hot run into the Australian Open third round into a maiden grand slam triumph.

Tsitsipas was all business as he made light work of livewire Australian wildcard Rinky Hijikata, winning 6-3 6-0 6-2 in just an hour and 32 minutes on Wednesday.

With plenty of support at Rod Laver Arena, including former Wimbledon and US Open finalist Philippoussis, the 24-year-old maintained his impressive unbeaten summer after a strong United Cup campaign.

"He brings a lot to the game," Tsitsipas said of Philippoussis.

"He has played amazing tennis himself in his career, won a lot of matches here on Rod Laver Arena and has tons of experience when it comes to a high level of tennis.

"He has been helping me a lot with serve and volley. Although I didn't use it a lot today it's somewhere in my artillery, waiting to be unpacked.

"He has contributed a lot to more of the offensive type of game that I'm looking to install within myself and we've been moving towards the right direction."

Hijikata endeared himself to local fans with his gutsy five-set opening round win over Yannick Hanfmann and earned himself a Rod Laver Arena debut.

He had no answers for the No.3 seed but to his credit, he never dropped his head.

Wildcard Rinky Hijikata gave it everything but found himself outclassed at the Australian Open. (James Ross/AAP PHOTOS) (AAP)

Australia's Davis Cup captain Lleyton Hewitt said Hijikata's first-round loss to Rafael Nadal at the US Open, then facing Tstisipas were "priceless" experiences.

"This is what the (young Australians) have to enjoy, to strive to get these opportunities," he said.

"Rinky out here playing one of the best players in the world in Tsitsipas. It is an unbelievable experience.

"This is why all the hard work is done in the off-season, to be able to win matches at your home grand slam and get to play the very best players in the world."

Hijikata took a set off Nadal at Flushing Meadows and Tsitsipas wans't planning on getting caught unawares.

"I was expecting a good level of tennis, and he did come up with some really good shots in the beginning, coming in the net," he said.

"Serving pretty well I would say in the beginning, but the consistency didn't last very long, I would say.

"Of course, he fought and he tried. I kept producing bigger shots with more topspin, with more rotation and more angles, really going for that forehand.

"Of course, I don't pay attention too much what's happening on the other side of the net, but I sort of felt there wasn't much he could do at a certain point."

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