Iga Swiatek, world No. 1 and top seed, steamrolled past qualifier Cristina Bucsa, in 55 minutes in a 6-0 6-1 victory on Margaret Court Arena.
Bucsa ranked 100 in the WTA had beaten former US Open champion Bianca Andreescu in the second round but was completely overwhelmed by Swiatek’s consistent shot-making in her first encounter against a top-10 player.
Swiatek said afterward she is working on being more consistent and she will need that attribute because her next opponent is Elena Rybakina, the 2022 Wimbledon champion.
Rybakina defeated 13th seed Danielle Collins 6-2 5-7 6-2 to reach the Australian Open round of 16 for a first meeting between two reigning Grand Slam champions since Ashleigh Barty defeated Barbora Krejcikova in 2021.
18-year-old Coco Gauff advanced to the last 16 of the Australian Open by defeating Bernarda Pera 6-3 6-2 in round three. It was another assured performance from the 2022 French Open finalist, who has stated that she approaches the pressures and rigours of elite-level sport with a relaxed attitude as tennis is not a life or death situation.
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Speaking on the court after her win over Pena match which lasted one hour and 34 minutes, Gauff said, “I’m really not that nervous when I play.
“It’s just a tennis match, it’s not like I’m out here fighting for my life, I’m just over here playing tennis. It’s a tennis match, it’s just a game, the worst thing that can happen is I lose and I try again.”
Gauff’s best at Melbourne has been the fourth round and she will seek a first quarterfinal when she clashes with 17th seed Jelena Ostapenko. Ostapenko saw off the challenge of Kateryna Baindl 6-3 6-0.
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