No. 2 Caroline Wozniacki defeated No. 19 Magdalena Rybarikova 6-3, 6-0 to move into the quarterfinals at the Australian Open on Sunday, setting up a meeting with No. 39-ranked Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain.
“I think being almost out of the tournament, you have nothing to lose after that,” said Wozniacki who came back from 1-5 15-40 in the final set in her opening-round match. “You just go out there and you enjoy yourself, and I played really well from being 5-1 down, and since then I have just kept that going, basically.”
It is the Dane’s first quarterfinal appearance in Melbourne in six years.
“Six years ago. It’s so long ago,” she said. “All I can say is that I think I’m in a good place, I think I’m hitting the ball well and everything’s been going well in the last year and a half.”
Wozniacki is picking up straight away from 2017 when she had the most match wins on tour, challenged for the No. 1 ranking and won the year-end WTA championships.
Her next opponent, the unseeded Suarez Navarro, upset No. 32 Anett Kontaveit 4-6, 6-4, 8-6.
“I was at this stage two years ago, so I’m happy,” Suarez Navarro said. “Always when you reach the quarterfinals or the finals round, you must be happy.”
Another unseeded player into the quarters Sunday was No. 37-ranked Belgian Elise Mertens, who defeated Petra Martic 7-6(5), 7-5.
“I was quite nervous, I wanted to win so badly, but I’m really glad I could do it in two sets,” the 22-year-old said.
Merten had 26 unforced errors to 39 for Martic.
Merten’s reward is a quarterfinal meeting with No. 4 seed Elina Svitolina, who in the final match after midnight beat No. 130-ranked Denisa Allertova 6-3, 6-0.
“I’m very pleased and thank you guys for staying that late,” Svitolina said after finishing around 1 a.m., looking forward to the Hobart winner Mertens. “She has a good start to the year, she’s playing good tennis.”
On court Monday in women’s 4th round action will be (8) Caroline Garcia vs. (17) Madison Keys, (21) Angie Kerber vs. Su-Wei Hsieh, (6) Karolina Pliskova vs. (20) Barbora Strycova in an all-Czech encounter, and (1) Simona Halep vs. Naomi Osaka.
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