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Rediff.com  » Sports » Aus Open PHOTOS: Wozniacki romps into quarters; Navarro rallies

Aus Open PHOTOS: Wozniacki romps into quarters; Navarro rallies

Last updated on: January 21, 2018 17:33 IST

Caroline Wozniacki

IMAGE: Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki celebrates beating Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia at the Australian Open on Sunday. Photograph: Thomas Peter/Reuters

Second seed Caroline Wozniacki needed only a shade over an hour to book a quarter-final spot at the Australian Open as she thrashed Slovakia's Magdalena Rybarikova 6-3, 6-0 on Sunday.

 

The Dane dropped a mere six points in the second set as she overwhelmed her 19th-seeded opponent to reach the last eight at Melbourne for the first time since 2012.

Rybarikova actually gained the first break of serve in the third game but Wozniacki soon settled into her rhythm and broke back immediately before taking control.

Such was Wozniacki's confidence she even produced a between the legs 'tweener' during the first set and although it did not win her the point it summed up her mood.

"I think you can tell my confidence is pretty good, I was pretty proud of that," the 27-year-old, who could reclaim the world number one spot next for the first time in six years, said on a muggy Rod Laver Arena.

"I've tried a few in practice but usually make a fool out of myself."

The twice Grand Slam runner-up will face Spain's Carla Suarez Navarro in the next round.

Free and single-handed, Suarez Navarro makes last eight

Carla Suarez Nnavarro

IMAGE: Spain's Carla Suarez Navarro celebrates after defeating Anett Kontaveit of Estonia at the Australian Open on Sunday. Photograph: Issei Katos/Reuters

Earlier in the day, Navarro became the first player through to the quarter-finals s she dug herself out of a hole to beat Estonian Anett Kontaveit 4-6, 6-4, 8-6.

Kontaveit was bidding to reach the last eight of a Grand Slam for the first time and the 22-year-old had victory in her grasp when she took the first set and broke twice to lead 4-1 in the second set on a muggy day alongside the Yarra river.

Unseeded Suarez Navarro was given heart when Kontaveit double-faulted to hand one break of serve back and the 29-year-old stormed back to take the second set.

The deciding set was a real battle and Kontaveit again looked like closing it out when she broke at 4-4 but she faltered and was broken as she served for the match.

Suarez Navarro enjoyed an outrageous slice of luck when Kontaveit served to stay in the match at 6-7, striking a forehand that hit the net tape twice before wobbling over to give her a second match point.

She missed that one but on her third opportunity Kontaveit smacked a forehand long to send Suarez Navarro into the quarter-finals at Melbourne Park for the third time.

Mertens makes maiden major quarter-final in Melbourne

Elise Mertens

IMAGE: Elise Mertens of Belgium hits a shot against Petra Martic of Croatia. Photograph: David Gray/Reuters

Belgium’s Elise Mertens progressed to her maiden grand slam quarter-finals in her first appearance in the Australian Open main draw, beating Croatian Petra Martic 7-6(5), 7-5.

At the outset, Mertens appeared set for a dominant win after racing to a 4-0 lead in the first set but Martic fought back with a combination of powerful groundstrokes and wily sliced backhands.

Facing a break point while serving at 4-0, Mertens made a double fault, which started a frustrating four-game skid for the Belgian.

Martic forced a tiebreak and was trailing 2-3 when Mertens switched gears, eventually clinching the opening set with a sharp forehand winner.

With momentum on her side, Mertens was more clinical in the second set as she converted three out of four break point opportunities to close the match in under two hours.

Mertens, ranked 37th in the world, extended her winning streak to eight matches after defending her title at the Hobart International earlier this month.

“It’s been amazing, the good start of the year, no words to describe this feeling,” Mertens, who was unable to participate in the Australian Open qualifying last year as she was still involved in the Hobart International, said in her on-court interview.

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