Rome, Italy, 12 May 2023 | Leigh Rogers

Alexei Popyrin has impressively kept his unbeaten record against top-10 opponents this season in tact.

The 23-year-old Australian qualifier posted a hard-fought 6-4 4-6 7-5 win against world No.10 Felix Auger-Aliassime in second-round action today at the Italian Open.

Popyrin, who needed three hours and 17 minutes to overcome his Canadian opponent, finished the match with 36 winners.

It is Popyrin’s fifth career top-10 victory and third this season.

The world No.77 also defeated Auger-Aliassime at Adelaide in January, before overcoming world No.9 Taylor Fritz in a memorable five-set battle at the Australian Open.

He is the only player currently ranked outside the ATP Tour’s top 20 to boast three top-10 wins this season.

This latest victory propels Popyrin into the third round at an ATP Masters 1000 tournament for only the fourth time in his career – and for the first time since the Paris Masters in November 2021.

His third-round opponent will be Russian qualifier Roman Safiullin, who eliminated No.22-seeded American Sebastian Korda in the second round.

World No.103 Safiullin defeated Popyrin in a three-set battle in their only previous meeting at Marseille last year.

The in-form Popyrin, who has now won nine of his 13 matches on European clay this season, was the sole Australian winner in Rome today.

Jannik Sinner dominated in a 6-1 6-4 victory against Thanasi Kokkinakis, with the eighth-seeded Italian conceding just three points on serve in their 78-minute encounter.

Meanwhile, Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics scored a 6-3 6-4 win against 17th-seeded Alex de Minaur.

Aussies in action – Rome

Men’s singles, second round
[Q] Alexei Popyrin (AUS) d [10] Felix Auger-Aliassime (CAN) 6-4 4-6 7-5
[8] Jannik Sinner (ITA) d [Q] Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS) 6-1 6-4
Marton Fucsovics (HUN) d [17] Alex de Minaur (AUS) 6-3 6-4

Men’s singles, second round
Jason Kubler (AUS) v [31] Bernabe Zapata Miralles (ESP)

Men’s singles, third round
[Q] Alexei Popyrin (AUS) v [Q] Roman Safiullin

> VIEW: Italian Open men’s singles draw

Men’s doubles, first round
[7] Matt Ebden (AUS)/Rohan Bopanna (IND) v [WC] Federico Arnaboldi (ITA)/Gianmarco Ferrari (ITA)
John Peers (AUS)/Nathaniel Lammons (USA) v [6] Lloyd Glasspool (GBR)/Harri Heliovaara (FIN)

Men’s doubles, second round
Alex de Minaur (AUS)/Jason Kubler (AUS) v TBC

> VIEW: Italian Open men’s doubles draw

Women’s doubles, second round
[4] Storm Hunter (AUS)/Elise Mertens (BEL) v TBC

> VIEW: Italian Open women’s doubles draw

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