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3-min read

Australian Open: Ash Barty, Caroline Wozniacki Move into 3rd Round in Contrasting Fashion

Australian Open 2020: Ashleigh Barty strolled into third round while Caroline Wozniacki got a fighting victory against Dayana Yastremska.

AFP

Updated:January 22, 2020, 10:19 AM IST
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Australian Open: Ash Barty, Caroline Wozniacki Move into 3rd Round in Contrasting Fashion
Ashleigh Barty (L) and Caroline Wozniacki. (Photo Credit: Reuters)

Melbourne: World number one Ashleigh Barty made light of windy conditions to reach the Australian Open third round in front of an adoring home crowd on Wednesday.

The French Open champion took just 66 minutes to dismantle Slovenia's Polona Hercog, winning 6-1, 6-4 without dropping any service games at Rod Laver Arena.

"A clean match today -- I'm really happy to get out of that one," said Barty, who needed three sets to see off Lesia Tsurenko in the first round.

"It was very different end to end, I think the wind was a massive factor particularly with the new ball," she added.

"Polona's got the ability to blow you off the court but once I got my opportunities I was able to take them."

Barty, 23, reached the quarter-finals last year -- her best result at the Australian Open, which hasn't seen a home women's winner since Chris O'Neil in 1978.

It came at the start of a breakthrough season when she won Roland Garros and reached the fourth round at Wimbledon and the US Open, equalling or bettering her best performance at each tournament.

EMOTIONAL WOZNIACKI KEEPS FINAL TOURNAMENT ALIVE

An emotional Caroline Wozniacki had tears in her eyes as she kept alive her dreams of a triumphant farewell to tennis at the Australian Open on Wednesday.

The 29-year-old former world number one roared back in both sets to defeat 23rd-seeded Dayana Yastremska of Ukraine 7-5, 7-5.

Neil Diamond's hit "Sweet Caroline" rang around a blustery Margaret Court Arena after the Dane nailed the sixth match point to reach round three in blustery Melbourne.

She plays Ons Jabeur of Tunisia.

"It's a little bit emotional for me," said Wozniacki, the 2018 Australian Open winner who announced in December that this would be her final tournament.

"The crowd really got behind me so that was so special. Thank you everyone for coming out today, it really means a lot to me," she added, fighting back tears.

The 19-year-old Yastremska, beaten by world number one Ashleigh Barty in last week's final in Adelaide, threatened to put a swift end to Wozniacki's career.

But having been 5-1 down in the first set, Wozniacki -- who suffers with rheumatoid arthritis, which causes fatigue and joint pain -- fought back to claim the set in 53 tough minutes.

Now ranked 36th, having ended 2010 and 2011 at number one in the world, Wozniacki was similarly quickly down 3-0 in the second set.

But once again she battled back to make it 4-4, then held her own serve to lead 5-4 and within touching distance of round three.

Yastremska then required a medical timeout for what appeared to be a left thigh problem, and returned to court with heavy strapping.

She saved five match points, but with the crowd firmly behind her, Wozniacki would not be denied.

TSITSIPAS GETS BYE IN 2ND ROUND

Sixth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas got a free ride into the Australian Open third round on Wednesday when German opponent Philipp Kohlschreiber pulled out injured.

"Unfortunately Philipp Kohlschreiber has withdrawn from his #AusOpen match vs Stefanos Tsitsipas due to a muscle strain," organisers tweeted.

The Greek star, who dropped just five games in his opening clash against Italian Salvatore Caruso, will play either big-serving Canadian Milos Raonic or Chile's Christian Garin.

Expectations are high for 21-year-old Tsitsipas, who stunned Roger Federer in 2019 en route to the final four at Melbourne Park, announcing himself as a force to be reckoned with.

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