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Women's wrap: Badosa dazzles, Svitolina and Azarenka set to meet

  • Gillian Tan

A trio of women's singles stars ensured they remain in Australian Open 2022 contention after navigating through career-first encounters in early Day 3 action.

Eighth seed Paula Badosa secured a maiden third round Australian Open berth by ousting qualifier Martina Trevisan with a 6-0 6-3 victory. The powerful Spaniard, now on a seven-match winning streak, needed just one hour and 11 minutes to defeat the talented Italian left-hander.

MORE: Results day three AO 2022

"I have goosebumps," said Badosa, recalling her Rod Laver Arena debut against Petra Kvitova in 2020 was because of her opponent's seventh seeding. "Being here because of me, I'm the seeded one, is super special."

Elina Svitolina lived up to her 15th seeding, maneuvering past Frenchwoman Harmony Tan who saved a match point before she was felled by a left calf injury and required a wheelchair to leave Margaret Court Arena.

MORE: Women's singles draw AO 2022

"It's always horrible for any athlete to get injured during the competition," said Svitolina after the 6-3 5-7 5-1 (ret) victory. "She made it not easy for me," added the Ukrainian, who sprayed 43 unforced errors during the match, mostly from her forehand.

Paula Badosa

Awaiting Svitolina in the third round is two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka, who maintained her unbeaten record in the round of 64 at Melbourne Park by sweeping past Switzerland's Jil Teichmann 6-1 6-2.

Victoria Azarenka

The 24th seed successfully defended all five break-point opportunities generated by her left-handed opponent, but converted each of the four on her own racket.

"I thought that my game plan was very well executed...I played really well [in] the important moments," said Azarenka. "When I had opportunities, I was really going for them."

"We played many times… we know each others' game," said Svitolina, who has a 0-4 head-to-head record against the Belarusian. "It's going to be an exciting match definitely, I'm looking forward to the challenge."

Jelena Ostapenko, the 26th seed, survived a rollercoaster encounter against American Alison Riske.

The hard-hitting Latvian triumphed 4-6 6-2 6-4 in almost two hours, making a symmetric 36 winners and 36 unforced errors, with only three of the latter coming in the second set, as she regained focus.

Ostapenko, 24, who won the 2017 Roland Garros title, hasn’t made it to the third round at Melbourne Park since 2018.

In the third round, Ostapenko will battle fourth seed Barbora Krejcikova, who soared past Chinese wildcard Wang Xiyu 6-2 6-3 in one hour and 17 minutes.

The Czech, eyeing a second major win in Melbourne, was tested by the 20-year-old left-hander. Wang broke her favoured opponent as Krejcikova served for the match at 5-2, but in the next game the mission-driven Czech broke to love to seal victory.

"It was really difficult; she is really [an] upcoming player. She’s lefty, she is very dangerous, she serves very well," Krejcikova said. "I knew what to expect," added the 26-year-old, who lost in three sets to Wang at an Australian challenger event in 2018.

On her upcoming battle with Ostapenko, Krejcikova said: "I've known her since juniors, so I know how she's playing, how she's hitting.

"I have to figure out with my coach the best way to play against her and how to beat her. I believe it will work out for me," said the defending Roland Garros champion.

Amanda Anisimova, 20, continued her recent run of form, sealing a 6-2 7-5 upset over 22nd seed Belinda Bencic, her first victory over Switzerland's top-ranked woman.

The American, who claimed her second career title at this month's Melbourne Summer Set 2, landed 28 winners to her elder opponent’s 10.

Anisimova is attempting to reach the Australian Open fourth round for the first time since 2019, but must get past a first-time encounter against 13th seed Naomi Osaka in Friday's round of 32 clash, a match-up she's been manifesting.

"I think it would be very exciting to play Naomi," said the American. "I've been wanting to play her for a while...I'll enjoy the atmosphere. She's an amazing player, so I'll look forward to that."