Australian Open: Kerber wins, Kuznetsova outlasts Jankovic, Bouchard out

Melbourne, Jan 20 (IANS) World No.1 Angelique Kerber kept her hopes of a second straight Australian Open tennis title alive with a 6-0, 6-4 win over Kristyna Pliskova here on Friday.

“I was feeling very good from the first point,” she said during her post-match press conference, according to the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) website.

“Matches like this are always tough to play when your opponent is serving very well, and you have to bring a lot of balls back, move well, and just go for it. But I’m happy about my performance.”

Kerber had been made to battle in her first two matches, getting stretched to three sets by both Lesia Tsurenko and Carina Witthoeft.

The German was much faster out of the gates on Friday, winning the first set in 21 minutes.

“I’m looking round by round, and I’m ready for every single match every single day. This is what counts, because I know that this is the only way to play good tennis, especially in these two weeks,” she added.

No.8 seed Svetlana Kuznetsova emerged victorious in a titanic three-setter against former No.1 Jelena Jankovic, 6-4, 5-7, 9-7, to reach the fourth round.

“It was crazy,” Kuznetsova admitted after the match. “I was up set and 4-1 with a double break. Then I found myself down 3-0 and 15-40 on my serve in third set. It was a bit insane, but it’s a tennis match, anything can happen; it’s never done until you shake the hand,” .

Veteran Venus Williams achieved her third win at the Australian Open, without conceding a single set, by beating China’s Duan Ying-Ying 6-1, 6- 0. The 36-year-old still has not conceded a set in three games and defeated Duan Ying-Ying in 58 minutes.

This is the 10th time that Venus has qualified for the fourth round at the Australian Open. She will face the winner between Australian Ashleigh Barty and German Mona Barthel.

Coco Vandeweghe advanced to the round of 16 at the tournament when she recovered from an early break in the third set to beat Eugenie Bouchard 6-4, 3-6, 7-5.

–IANS

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