World No. 1 Angie Kerber and former No. 1 Venus Williams put hurt on players as the top seeds moved into the fourth round on Friday at the Australian Open with a modicum of resistance.
Kerber ran over unseeded Czech Kristyna Pliskova 6-0, 6-4, and the elder Williams sister allowed only one game to China’s Duan Yingyang 6-1, 6-0.
“I loved accounting, I have to be honest,” Venus said in a wide-ranging post-match meet with the press, filling a match discussion void after losing only one game. “If I would have known I loved it that much, I would have majored in accounting. It’s just the language of business. I don’t know. I liked it. I liked it. It’s balanced. It’s reliable.”
No. 7 Garbine Muguruza in the last night match dismissed No. 32 Anastasija Sevastova 6-4, 6-2, while No. 8 Svetlana Kuznetsova put in enough court time to make up for the rest of the Top 10, outlasting former No. 1 Jelena Jankovic in a topsy-turvy third set 6-4, 5-7, 9-7.
“It was crazy,” Kuznetsova said. “I was up set and 4-1, and then was double break. Then I found out that I’m 3-love down and 15-40 on my serve in third set. So it’s been a bit insane, but it’s a tennis match, anything can happen. In the third set I felt like Jelena was in total control of the game, but it’s never done until you shake the hand. So I was trying to fight and stay in there. I was not playing my best, but I fight hard and in the end I won. So I’m pretty happy with that.”
Kuznetsova said she wasn’t happy with the level of chatter allowed by the chair umpire between Jankovic and her team in the stands.
“Tennis game is one and one. You face your opponent. It’s a bit frustrating. She was talking to her coach and hitting partner, and each one of them was sitting different sides. It’s a bit frustrating. I’m not saying she was getting coach. I have no idea what they were talking about. It’s consistently high, like, talk was a little bit disturbing. I was trying not to react and just play my game.”
Kuznetsova will in the 4th round meet Russian countrywoman and No. 24 seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, who on Friday upset No. 11 Elina Svitolina 7-5, 4-6, 6-3. Venus will next face unseeded German Mona Barthel, who stopped the homecountry run of Aussie Ashleigh Barty 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.
In all-unseeded play Romania’s Sorana Cirstea bested American Alison Riske 6-2, 7-6(2), and American CoCo Vandeweghe out-slapped former Top 10er Eugenie Bouchard 6-4, 3-6, 7-5 in a match short on long rallies and high on first-ball strikes.
“I was thinking I was doing more damage off of the second serve against her,” Vandeweghe said. “She wasn’t handling my kick serve that well, especially later in the match…I’m not too concerned if I don’t make a first serve. Obviously the first goal is to make the first serve so you’re not constantly playing off of a second serve. That’s never any fun, even if you do have utmost confidence. It was more just being ready for the first ball, whether it was the first or second serve, because in her game style, she’s taking a swing at both.”
Kerber will next square off against Vandeweghe.
“Coco is a tough opponent,” the German said. “She played good today. I saw the match a little bit before my match. I know that she’s serving good, as well. I have to move good, being ready, bring a lot of balls back, but also being aggressive, as well, like I can play.”
Seed-on-seed and other highlight matches on Saturday in Melbourne include (6) Dominika Cibulkova vs. (30) Ekaterina Makarova, (2) Serena Williams vs. Nicole Gibbs in an all-American, (22) Daria Gavrilova vs. (12) Timea Bacsinszky, (16) Barbora Strycova vs. (21) Caroline Garcia, and (17) Caroline Wozniacki vs. (9) Johanna Konta.
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