Petra Kvitova beats Bencic to set up Anisimova clash

Petra Kvitova beats Bencic to set up Anisimova clash

Third round women’s action were played out in earnest at Melbourne Park on Friday. The day saw some blistering upsets, including that of defending champion and world no. 3, Caroline Wozniacki at the hands of Maria Sharapova, which also ended the Dane’s chances of toppling Simona Halep as the world no.

1. Opening the day’s play, 15th seed Ashleigh Barty was the first to advance to the fourth round. The Australian, a strong home hopeful won in straight sets against Maria Sakkari 7-5, 6-1.

Barty will next take on Sharapova, who had her patches of ups and downs, before claiming the win in three sets, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3. Prior to Sharapova’s ouster of Wozniacki, the biggest upset of the day came at the hands of 17-year-old Amanda Anisimova who defeated Aryna Sabalenka in straight sets 6-2, 6-2.

Sabalenka, who was one the favourites at the outset of the tournament to clinch the title, was unable to lift up her game against the constancy of Anisimova’s shotmaking. She struggled with her serve and her returns, too, either made their way to the net or were sprayed widely.

Eighth seeded Petra Kvitova, too, won her third round match against Belinda Bencic without any problems. The Czech continued on her merry playmaking in the tournament, winning the opening set with the loss of just one game.

The second set, however, saw Bencic give a better fight to her higher-ranked opponent. Kvitova, however, broke Bencic in the seventh game to wrap up the win on her serve in the 10th game to set up what promises to be an intriguing clash against Anisimova in the fourth round.

Among the other players, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and fifth seed Sloane Stephens advanced to the pre-quarters where they will face each other. Photo Credit: Aus Open Twitter

(15) Ashleigh Barty (AUS) d. Maria Sakkari (GRE) 7-5, 6-1
(30) Maria Sharapova (RUS) d. (3) Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) 6-4, 4-6, 6-3
Amanda Anisimova (USA) d. (11) Aryna Sabalenka (BLR) 6-3, 6-2
(5) Sloane Stephens (USA) d. (31) Petra Martic (CRO) 7-6 (6), 7-6(5)
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) d. Aliaksandra Sasnovich (BLR) 6-0, 6-3
(8) Petra Kvitova (CZE) d. Belinda Bencic (SUI) 6-1, 6-4


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