Web Stories Tuesday, February 27

MELBOURNE : Twice former champion Victoria Azarenka took her career record against Jelena Ostapenko to 4-0 on Saturday with a 6-1 7-5 victory in the third round of the Australian Open.

Azarenka won both her Grand Slam titles at Melbourne Park and the 34-year-old showed just how much she enjoys the tournament with her fourth straight win over the 2017 French Open champion.

The 18th seed next faces Dayana Yastremska after the Ukrainian qualifier scored a 6-2 2-6 6-1 win against 27th seed Emma Navarro.

“I knew it’s going to be a tough battle,” Azarenka said after her victory over the Latvian, who had opened the season by winning the title in Adelaide and returning to top 10.

“I felt like I played a really, really good first set, really kept the pressure.

“She’s a Grand Slam champion, she’s been in amazing form coming off the title so I knew she was going come back and play strong.

“I was just trying to find an opportunity in that second set to get one break point at a time and try to get my chances.”

Azarenka got off to a flyer at Margaret Court Arena, breaking Ostapenko in the second game en route to a 3-0 lead. She broke again in the sixth game and was serving for the set before her opponent offered any real resistance.

Ostapenko earned her first break point in that game but squandered it with an unforced error and Azarenka fired an ace to claim the set.

The 11th seed showed much more urgency in the second set, converting a break point in the fourth game before establishing a 5-2 lead, but Azarenka broke back in the ninth and held serve in a see-saw 10th to level it.

The Belarusian then capitalised on a series of errors and a double fault from Ostapenko to break her again, and saved four break points in the final game before sealing victory in an hour and 23 minutes.

“Happy to close it out. There was a close one in the last game,” Azarenka said.

“I was going to make her work really hard to earn the point and put a little bit pressure. I was able to convert my opportunities.”


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