Fri, 03 Feb 2023

Magda Linette marches into Australian Open quarters

Field Level Media
24 Jan 2023, 02:19 GMT+10

Upsets continued at the Australian Open on Monday with Poland's Magda Linette pushing into her first Grand Slam quarterfinal.

The unseeded Linette authored a 7-6 (3), 6-4 upset of No. 4 seed Caroline Garcia of France, who led the first set 3-0.

"I can't believe it," said Linette, who made only 14 unforced errors compared to 33 for Garcia. "I don't know what happened."

Linette was not the Polish player most projected to reach the final eight in Australia, but upsets have marked the women's side of the bracket and world No. 1 Iga Swiatek fell in the Round of 16.

Another first-timer in the quarters, Croatia's Donna Vekic defeated Czech teenager Linda Fruhvirtova 6-2, 1-6, 6-3 and faces No. 5 Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus in the quarterfinals on Wednesday.

Sabalenka eliminated No. 12 Belinda Bencic of Switzerland 7-5, 6-2.

Former World No. 1 Karolina Pliskova awaits Linette in a clash of 30-year-olds scheduled for Wednesday. Pliskova hasn't lost a set in the Australian Open and is in the quarters for the fourth time.

"Amazing just to be here," Pliskova said. "I was really, really sad last year that I missed especially this part of the season."

American Jessica Pegula, the highest remaining seed in the women's draw at No. 3, and Victoria Azarenka meet in the quarterfinals on Tuesday. The winner advances to face the winner of Elena Rybakina (Kazakhstan) and Jelena Ostapenko (Latvia). Rybakina, 23, downed Swiatek and has opened eyes with her huge serve and burgeoning confidence.

Rybakina said she entered the match with Swiatek knowing there was "nothing to lose."

"If I perform like I did this week and consistently, I will say that I can be No. 1, I can beat anyone. For now, I need to find my consistency," she said.

Pegula also advanced to the doubles quarterfinals along with Coco Gauff, setting up a potential match-a-day schedule through the weekend in Melbourne.

--Field Level Media

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