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Tsitsipas right at home in Australian Open demolition

Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas celebrates victory at the Australian Open. ©AFP

Melbourne (AFP) - Clinical world number four Stefanos Tsitsipas clocked his sixth consecutive win of the year on Wednesday to sprint into the Australian Open third round in just 92 minutes.

The 24-year-old was in a different league to Australian wildcard Rinky Hijikata on Rod Laver Arena, blitzing to victory 6-3, 6-0, 6-2 in a lop-sided contest.

Tsitsipas, a three-time semi-finalist at Melbourne Park, is pursuing a first Grand Slam title and appears to be peaking at the right time.

After winning all four singles matches at the United Cup for Greece, he remains unbeaten this year with a Dutch player awaiting him next -- either Tallon Griekspoor or Botic van de Zandschulp.

"I felt good out there, the ball was coming off the racquet really well," said Tsitsipas, who led the ATP Tour for most matches won last year with 61.

"I enjoyed myself, I was great throughout the entire match.Always a pleasure playing on Rod Laver Arena, I have some happy memories here.

"Whenever I'm back here it feels like home," he added of Melbourne, which has a large Greek community."In fact, I'm seriously thinking of maybe getting a home here one day." 

Tsitsipas dominated the winners against Hijikata 30-17 while committing far fewer unforced errors.

The third seed burst onto the scene at the Australian Open in 2019 when as a 20-year-old he dethroned defending champion Roger Federer in the last 16.

He went on to reach the semi-finals that year and again in 2021 and 2022.

Tsitsipas is one of three players in Melbourne in contention for the number one world ranking along with Novak Djokovic and Casper Ruud.He must win the title here to rise to the top.

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