MELBOURNE, Australia – (AP) – Last Friday at the Australian Open (all local times):
Two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka is through to the fourth round for the first time since 2016 after defeating 15th seed Elina Svitolina 6-0, 6-2.
Azarenka racked up nearly twice as many winners, 17, as unforced errors, nine, and never faced a break point. Svitolina made mistake after mistake, 26 unforced errors in all.
Azarenka improved to 5-0 against Svitolina.
The 24th-seeded Azarenka won the title at Melbourne Park in 2012 and 2013, and she’s also been a three-time US Open runner-up, most recently in 2020.
She will next face No. 4 Barbora Krejcikova or No. 26 Jelena Ostapenko, who have each won French Open.
Since a quarter-final in Australia in 2016, Azarenka has lost first-round matches last year and in 2019, and missed the hard-court tournament in 2017, 2018 and 2020.
Day 5 of the Australian Open includes two highly anticipated matchups that could lead to an even bigger one.
Defending champion Naomi Osaka takes on Amanda Anisimova at Margaret Court Arena, while No. 1 Ash Barty takes on hard-hitting Camila Giorgi at Rod Laver Arena. Both are on the night schedule.
The winners of those two matches will meet in a fourth-round match that could look like a Grand Slam final a week earlier if it’s Osaka versus Barty.
Two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka takes on 15th seed Elina Svitolina to get things started in the third round.
Later Friday, Rafael Nadal will continue his bid for a record 21st Grand Slam title with a third-round match against No. 28 Karen Khachanov, and Wimbledon runner-up Matteo Berrettini will face No. 31 Carlos Alcaraz.
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