World No. 2 Caroline Wozniacki righted the seeded ship in her quest to re-take the No. 1 ranking during the Australian Open, advancing into the fourth round on a day where the tournament lost the reigning French Open champion.
Wozniacki in the final night match ending after midnight in Melbourne beat No. 30 Kiki Bertens 6-4, 6-3, closing on her fourth match point.
“Right now I’m playing with house money, nothing to lose,” Wozniacki said, referring to her previous match after coming back from 1-5 down in the final set. She will next meet No. 19 Magdalena Rybarikova who ended the run of the Ukraine’s Kateryna Bondarenko 7-5, 3-6, 6-1.
“Good forehand, good serve,” Wozniacki said of Rybarikova. “Be ready for everything.”
No. 32 seed Anett Kontaveit upset No. 7 seed and reigning French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko 6-3, 1-6, 6-3.
“It’s definitely amazing to be in the fourth round for the first time here at the Australian Open,” Kontaveit said. “I played a great first and third set — my energy dropped in the second, but she played a really great set too. She’s very tough, she plays so aggressive. I was trying to stay with her in that third set — I got the break and that gave me confidence, and I think that was the difference tonight.”
Kontaveit will next meet unseeded Carla Suarez Navarro who topped Kaia Kanepi 3-6, 6-1, 6-3.
No. 4 Elina Svitolina won the all-Ukraine battle against 15-year-old Marta Kostyuk 6-2, 6-2.
“How much you have to pay Svitolina to have one-hour lesson, so I got it for free,” the 15-year-old said afterwards. “I had the chances, but because I thought, like, ‘She is incredible,’ like, ‘She’s a god,’ I cannot do anything against her, that’s the problem.’”
In the fourth round Svitolina will face Czech Denisa Allertova who beat Poland’s Magda Linette 6-1, 6-4.
Croat Petra Martic defeated Thailand’s Luksika Kumkhum 6-3, 3-6, 7-5, setting up an all-unseeded fourth round meeting with Belgian Elise Mertens who beat France’s Alize Cornet 7-5, 6-4.
“I really didn’t expect [this] coming from Auckland, to be honest,” Martic said. “I didn’t feel good on the court, I didn’t really feel my game was really there. That’s why I decided to skip Hobart and took more days to practice. Match to match, I just felt better and better.”
Mertens, who won the Hobart title, extended her match winning streak to seven.
“It was a very hot day,” Mertens said. “I think everybody’s struggling a little bit — my opponent too, in the second set. But I was also struggling today…This time, it’s difficult to not show it, but I tried to cover it a little bit.”
Eight third-round matches are on the schedule Friday in Melbourne: (1) Simona Halep vs. American Lauren Davis, (18) Ashleigh Barty vs. Japan’s Naomi Osaka, (21) Angie Kerber vs, Maria Sharapova, (17) Madison Keys vs. Romanian Ana Bogdan, (6) Karolina Pliskova vs. (29) Lucie Safarova in an all-Czech battle, (26) Aggie Radwanska vs. Su-Wei Hsieh, (8) Caroline Garcia vs. Aliaksandra Sasnovich, and (20) Barbora Strycova vs. Bernarda Pera.
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