Swiatek Dominates, Coco Advances While Sakkari, Keys Crumble At Australian Open
by Staff | January 20th, 2023, 1:00 pm
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Iga Swiatek strengthened her position as the clear choice to win the Australian Open. On Friday, the world No. 1 destroyed Spanish qualifier Cristina Busca 6-0, 6-1 in 55 minutes to advance to her fourth straight fourth round in Melbourne.

“I feel I’m more and more confident since Day 1 here,” Swiatek said. “I’m not even talking about matches, but also practices. I feel like I’ve done so much work to feel more confident, more relaxed on court.

“I’m pretty happy that I did it because it’s just a little bit easier. When you actually play those matches, you can feel the rhythm a little bit more. I think that’s the thing that I am most pleased with.”

Swiatek, who has now won her last 10 matches in Grand Slam play, will finally got a test on Sunday in Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina.

The Russian Rybakina held off 2022 runner-up Danielle Collins in three sets 6-2, 5-7, 6-2.

“Really is a solid player. Since we played juniors, I knew that she’s kind of going in the right direction. With her serve, she can do a lot,” Swiatek said of Rybakina.

Coco Gauff kept pace with the two Grand Slam champions easing past countrywoman Bernarda Pera 6-3, 6-2. Gauff, into her second Australian fourth round, is now 8-0 on the season and 16-0 in sets. The teen will now take on Jelena Ostapenko. The two met once before with Gauff winning her first title in Linz in 2019.

American No. 1 Jessica Pegula also had an easy day cruising past Marta Kostyuk 6-0, 6-2.

“I think the score obviously looked dominant, but there was a lot of really tough games in that match,” Pegula said afterward.” She can be really a dangerous player.”

Pegula now meets her own former French winner in Barbora Krejcikova.

In the evening, two top seeds fell as Maria Sakkari went down to Zhu Lin 7-6(3), 1-6, 6-4 and 2-time semifinalist Madison Keys was bounced by former champion Victoria Azarenka 1-6, 6-2, 6-1.

Today, Aryna Sabalanka, Carolina Garcia, Belinda Bencic and Karolina Pliskova all return for the end of the third round.

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