Rome, Italy, 14 May 2023 | Leigh Rogers

Alexei Popyrin is enjoying a career-best run at an ATP Masters 1000 tournament.

The 23-year-old Australian booked his place in the Italian Open fourth round with a 7-5 7-5 victory today against qualifier Roman Safiullin.

Popyrin fired six aces and only faced a single break point in the one-hour and 54-minute clash against the world No.103.

This is Popyrin’s fifth consecutive win in Rome, having earned his place in the main draw through qualifying. This equals his best winning streak at ATP level, matching a run in February 2021.

This impressive form propels world No.77 Popyrin into the round of 16, where he’ll meet world No.7 Holger Rune.

It will be Popyrin’s first career meeting with the 20-year-old from Denmark. Both are former Roland Garros boys’ singles champions, with Popyrin winning the 2017 title and Rune reigning in 2019.

Popyrin boasts an incredible 3-0 win-loss record against top-10 opponents this season, which includes a second-round victory against world No.10 Felix Auger-Aliassime earlier this week.

If Popyrin beats Rune, he will become the first Australian to reach an Italian Open men’s singles quarterfinal since Lleyton Hewitt in 2000.

In women’s doubles action, Australian Storm Hunter and Belgian partner Elise Mertens secured their spot in the quarterfinals.

The fourth-seeded duo recorded a 6-1 7-6(6) victory against Italian wildcards Angelica Moratelli and Camilla Rosatello.

This matches 28-year-old Hunter’s career-best result in Rome, having also made the quarterfinals last year.

Aussies in action – Rome

Men’s singles, third round
[Q] Alexei Popyrin (AUS) d [Q] Roman Safiullin 7-5 7-5

Women’s doubles, second round
[4] Storm Hunter (AUS)/Elise Mertens (BEL) d [WC] Angelica Moratelli (ITA)/Camilla Rosatello (ITA) 6-1 7-6(6)

Men’s singles, fourth round
[Q] Alexei Popyrin (AUS) v [7] Holger Rune (DEN)

> VIEW: Italian Open men’s singles draw

Men’s doubles, second round
[7] Matt Ebden (AUS)/Rohan Bopanna (IND) v Alex de Minaur (AUS)/Jason Kubler (AUS) 

> VIEW: Italian Open men’s doubles draw

Women’s doubles, quarterfinals
[4] Storm Hunter (AUS)/Elise Mertens (BEL) v Timea Babos (HUN)/Anna Danilina (KAZ)

> VIEW: Italian Open women’s doubles draw

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