Mon, 11 Dec 2023

Melbourne [Australia], January 22 (ANI): Two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka advanced to the quarterfinals of the ongoing edition after registering a win over China's Zhu Lin in her round of 16 match at Melbourne on Sunday.

Victoria sealed the win in two hour, 40-minute affair by 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 to book her sixth QF spot in the tournament, having won it twice in 2012 and 2013.

Zhu was praised by her Belarussian opponent after the match.

"She never gave up, no matter what the score was," Azarenka said as per WTA.

"With this tennis, she has to be Top 20, because she played amazing. I would never heard of her before, I know she is coming from China -- but there are so many players who can come out here and produce an amazing level.""Sometimes it helps when you know your opponent, but I did not know much about her and I had to adjust on the go. Today was blinding for me. She is an amazing player, I wish her luck for the rest of the year and I hope we will see a lot more of her," said Azarenka.

78-ranked Zhu was making her first-ever appearance in the second week of a major tournament.

Number 3 seed Jessica Pegula of the US continued her great show in the ongoing Australian Open, defeating Czech Republic's Barbora Krejcikova in the round-of-16 clash to reach the quarterfinals of the tournament on Sunday.

She defeated her Czech Republic opponent by 7-5, 6-2 at the John Cain Arena. The encounter between two of last year's quarterfinalists was a highly anticipated one, but it was Pegula who prevailed over the 2021 Roland Garros champion in a match lasting one hour and 41 minutes.

"I think the court felt a little bit faster than the other courts, which I think helped me a lot," Pegula said as quoted by WTA.

"Tried to not give her a lot of time to set up and angle me off the court, where she can work the court really well. Her court sense is really good," added Pegula.

"I thought it was really high level, first set especially. Got a little tricky there trying to close that first set out," she said.

"It is tough when you play someone that has a lot of experience, that it can flip a match. I am glad that I was able to fight and win that first set, then kind of go on a roll from there," added Pegula.

In another fourth-round showdown No.22 seed Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan upset World No.1 Iga Swiatek of Poland to make her first Australian Open quarterfinal here at Rod Laver Arena on Sunday.

Rybakina produced a sublime performance, defeating World No. 1 and two-time French Open champion Swiatek 6-4, 6-4 in a match lasting an hour-and-a-half to make her first Australian Open quarterfinal. With an early 2-0 lead, Rybakina attacked Swiatek's second serve. However, the Pole was equally impressive, producing thumping winners to level the score at 2-2.

From that point forward, the Kazakh was unbeatable on serve as she closed out the opening set with four aces. Rybakina then broke Swiatek once more to lead 4-3 in the second set.In the opening set, Rybakina won 79 per cent of points on her first serve, significantly more than Swiatek's 63 per cent.

Rybakina rallied to win six of the next seven games after going behind 3-0 in the second set. She had 11 winners and 9 unforced errors in the second set, while Swiatek had 6 winners and 8 unforced errors.

Elsewhere, No.17 seed Jelena Ostapenko moved through to the quarterfinals of the Australian Open for the first time in her career with a 7-5, 6-3 win over No.7 seed American Coco Gauff at Melbourne Park on Sunday.

The Latvian, who had a career head-to-head record of 1-1 against Gauff going into the clash, won in a little less than 2 hours.

She produced 30 clear winners and held off 7 of the 8 break points she faced on the way to posting an emphatic victory. (ANI)

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