Australian Open: Women’s Day 3 review – Goerges through to Round of 32 as big guns send message

BELGIAN, Julia Goerges is through to the Round of 32 after a commanding three-set win over 13th seed Croatian, Petra Martic. She joined a host of big names from the women’s draw in the third round, with the other half of Round 2 to be completed today, weather permitting.

Goerges once again proved she can be quite the handful for highly ranked players, causing the upset of the day by downing Martic. The world number 39 was not far off receiving her own seeding, but showed why she can compete with the best during a come-from-behind three-set win over the Croatian. The German served up 13 aces and only dropped eight points on her first serve, producing a massive 44 winners and using the court well when approaching the net. She broke three times to Martic’s twice, while Martic could not have the same impact on serve. In the end, Goerges moved into the third round thanks to the 4-6 6-3 7-5 victory.

American 18th seed Alison Riske had an easier path into the final 32, defeating China’s Zhu Lin 6-3 6-1 in 61 minutes. Riske was consistent on-serve without dominating, winning 69 and 68 per cent of her first and second serve points respectively. She also broke five times from eight opportunities and won more than half of her receiving points which put Lin on the back foot. Lin hit just the nine winners and 24 unforced errors in the straight sets loss.

At the top of the draw, world number one Ash Barty rode the home crowd support on her way to a straight sets win over Polona Hercog. The Australian star meets young gun, Elena Rybakina in the third round after the 29th seed posted a 6-3 6-4 victory over Belgian qualifier, Greet Minnen. The match lasted an hour and 14 minutes before the 20-year-old ended the qualifier’s run at the Australian Open, winning an elite 87 per cent of her first serves, and claiming three breaks during the match. While she hit 31 unforced errors, her 28 winners made up for it, claiming the clutch games in the win despite only winning seven more points than her opponent.

[1] A. Barty (AUS) defeated P. Hercog (SLO) 6-1 6-4
[29] E. Rybakina (KAZ) defeated [Q] G. Minnen (BEL) 6-3 6-4
[18] A. Riske (USA) defeated L. Zhu (CHN) 6-3 6-1
J. Goerges (GER) defeated [13] P. Martic (CRO) 4-6 6-3 7-5

First up on Wednesday was seventh seed, Petra Kvitova up against Spaniard, Paula Badosa with both players having dropped just one solitary game in their first round matches. The Grand Slam winner and top 10 Czech proved to be that bit better for longer in the 7-5 7-5 victory, serving seven aces to three and hitting 31 winners to 19. Kvitova also won 40 per cent of her receiving points, while capitalising on 72 per cent of her first serve points compared to her opponents’ 60 per cent. The left handed star moved through to the Round of 32 to play the unbeaten in 2020 Russian, Ekaterina Alexandrova.

The 25th seed has not lost in more than 100 days after back-to-back titles at Limoges and then Shenzhen heading into the Australian Open. Alexandrova easily accounted for Czech qualifier, Barbora Krejcikova 6-1 6-3 in 63 minutes. She broke four times from her four opportunities, while Krejcikova did not manage to break from the same amount of chances. The in-form Russian was more dominant on serve with an 82 per cent winning rate, and attacked her opponent’s second serve, winning 12 of the 14 points off it. Hitting 12 winners and 26 unforced errors, she will need to take her game to another level against Kvitova.

The other top 10 seed to move through to the final 32 is American, Madison Keys who dispatched Russian, Daria Kasatkina in under an hour. Keys posted a 6-3 6-1 victory in 57 minutes, hitting an impressive 29 winners to five, including eight off the return. She was not overly dominant on serve despite the score, but instead took control when her opponent was serving, reducing her to a 43 and 32 per cent winning rate on her first and second serves. She sets up a huge clash with 22nd seed, Maria Sakkari of Greece.

Sakkari had to fight hard against a determined Nao Hibino, but eventually downed the Japanese qualifier 7-6 6-4 in an hour and 43 minutes. Sakkari served up nine aces and 31 winners on her way to victory, not always looking clean with 44 unforced errors and a low serving success rate (63 and 54 per cent on her first and second serve), but she reduced her opponent to 56 and 52 per cent success on her first and second serves. Sakkari also critically broke three times to twice, but will have to lift her game to match it with Keys given Hibino had 10 break point opportunities to seven, and the Greek talent could not afford to give a top 10 player those kind of looks.

[10] M. Keys (USA) defeated A. Rus (NED) 7-6 6-2
[22] M. Sakkari (GRE) defeated [Q] N. Hibino (JPN) 7-6 6-4
[25] E. Alexandrova (RUS) defeated [Q] B. Krejcikova (CZE) 6-1 6-3
[7] P. Kvitova (CZE) defeated P. Badosa (ESP) 7-5 7-5

Third seed Naomi Osaka worked her way into the third round without too much trouble, defeating China’s Zheng Saisai 6-2 6-4 in an hour and 20 minutes. Her win sets up an exciting Round of 32 clash with American young gun, Coco Gauff. The 15-year-old American had to fight back from a set down against Romanian, Sonia Cirstea in a 4-6 6-3 7-5 victory. Despite nine double faults, Gauff hit 30 winners and broke three times throughout the clash, stronger with her first serve as well (73 per cent to 66 per cent).

Fellow American Sofia Kenin made a statement against another up-and-coming youngster in Ann Li, defeating the 19-year-old qualifier 6-1 6-3. Kenin won 79 per cent of her first serves compared to Li’s 44 per cent and hit just 19 unforced errors throughout the match. Five breaks to one was a key difference in the clash, but Kenin always looked comfortable and booked a third round spot to face China’s Zhang Shuai.

The world number 35 narrowly missed out on a seeding at this year’s Australian Open, but Shuai worked her way into the Round of 32 with a 6-2 6-4 victory over another American, qualifier Catherine McNally. Shuai hit just 12 winners for the match but won 69 per cent of her first serve points controlling play and breaking five times compared to her opponents’ twice.

[3] N. Osaka (JPN) defeated S. Zheng (CHN) 6-2 6-4
C. Gauff (USA) defeated S. Cirstea (ROU) 4-6 6-3 7-5
S. Zhang (CHN) defeated [Q] C. McNally (USA) 6-2 6-4
[14] A. Kenin (USA) defeated [Q] A. Li (USA) 6-1 6-3

Ons Jabeur‘s dream run at the Australian Open continued with the world number 78 defeating Frenchwoman, Caroline Garcia in three sets. After dropping the first set 6-1, Jabeur hit back and ran out the stronger of the pair 1-6 6-2 6-3 to book a spot in the Round of 32. With 24 winners and a 65 per cent first serve winning percentage, it was enough for Jabeur to get the job done, though she will want to improve on her effort that saw her record just 44 per cent efficiency with her first serve and was broken four times. She now faces 2018 Australian Open winner Caroline Wozniacki, which is another step up again.

Wozniacki made her way into the third round after a two-hour tussle with 23rd seed and Adelaide International finalist, Dayana Yastremska. The 19-year-old Ukrainian is a star of the future, but the 29-year-old Dane reminded spectators of what she is capable of, winning 62 per cent of her first serve and nine of 12 points at the net. She only hit the 15 winners, but like in her first round win, Wozniacki was more economical than a hard hitter, while Yastremska threw caution to the wind with 36 winners and 47 unforced errors.

A potential fourth round opponent for the 2018 Open winner is a player who has had no problems going all the way before in Serena Williams. The eighth seed was simply too strong and too good for Slovenia’s Tamara Zidansek, pouncing out a 6-2 6-3 win. Before she can face Wozniacki, the multiple Grand Slam winner has to face 27th seed, Wang Qiang who defeated France’s Fiona Ferro in straight sets, 6-1 6-2. Qiang won 68 and 74 per cent of her first and second serve points respectively, only dropping a total of 13 points for the entire match. She also claimed 55 per cent of her receiving points in a dominant display, restricting Ferro to just 31 points for the match.

O. Jabeur (TUN) defeated C. Garcia (FRA) 1-6 6-2 6-3
C. Wozniacki (DEN) defeated [23] D. Yastremska (UKR) 7-5 7-5
[27] Q. Wang (CHN) defeated F. Ferro (FRA) 6-1 6-2
[8] S. Williams (USA) defeated T. Zidansek (SLO) 6-2 6-3

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