Third-seeded Jessica Pegula breezed into the fourth round of the Australian Open with a decisive 6-0, 6-2 win over Marta Kostyuk on Friday in Melbourne, Australia.
While the result against the Ukraine native was never in doubt, Pegula admitted she was “annoyed” with her performance during the 65-minute match.
Why? Well, she answered winning 10 of the first 11 games by misfiring on three first serves in a row. The end result was just a 4-2 lead in the second set for Pegula, who then quickly dispatched her opponent.
“When I was younger, it came off as kind of a bad attitude. I’d get really negative or down on myself,” Pegula said of her perfectionist attitude.
Pegula likely will face a tougher test in her next outing against 2021 French Open champion and No. 20 seed Barbora Krejcikova. The native of the Czech Republic seized a 6-2, 6-3 win over Ukraine’s Anhelina Kalinina.
Top-seeded Iga Swiatek of Poland won the first 11 games of her match before posting a 6-0, 6-1 victory over Spanish qualifier Cristina Bucsa.
“I feel I’m more and more confident since Day One here,” Swiatek said after her 55-minute match. “I’m not even talking about matches, but also practices. I feel like I’ve done so much work to feel more confident, more relaxed on court.
“I’m pretty happy that I did it because it’s just a little bit easier. When you actually play those matches, you can feel the rhythm a little bit more. I think that’s the thing that I am most pleased with.”
Swiatek reached the Australian Open Round of 16 for the fourth straight season. She advances to face reigning Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan, who secured a 6-2, 5-7, 6-2 win over 13th-seeded Danielle Collins, the 2022 Aussie runner-up.
Seventh-seeded Coco Gauff posted a convincing victory on Friday, a 6-3, 6-2 triumph versus fellow American Bernarda Pera.
Gauff’s win set up a match against No. 17 Jelena Ostapenko. The Latvian breezed to a 6-3, 6-0 win over Kateryna Baindl of the Ukraine.
Also on Friday, Belarus’ Victoria Azarenka rallied for a 1-6, 6-2, 6-1 win over 10th-seeded Madison Keys and China’s Lin Zhu upended sixth-seeded Greek Maria Sakkari, 7-6 (3), 1-6, 6-4.
–Field Level Media