Sat, 02 Dec 2023

Caroline Garcia rallies to reach Aussie fourth round

Field Level Media
22 Jan 2023, 02:40 GMT+10

No. 4 seed Caroline Garcia of France rallied to reach the Australian Open fourth round with a 1-6, 6-3, 6-3 win Saturday against Germany's Laura Siegemund.

Still seeking her first Grand Slam singles title, the 29-year-old Garcia advanced to the final 16 in Melbourne for the second time (2018).

Garcia saved six of nine break points in the two-hour, 10-minute match. Facing a break point while serving at 4-3 in the final set, she delivered her sixth and final ace of the day to escape the jam.

Garcia's next opponent is Poland's Magda Linette, a 6-3, 6-4 winner against No. 19 seed Ekaterina Alexandrova of Russia. Linette converted four of her five break chances and committed only nine unforced errors.

A pair of winning streaks will be on the line when No. 5 seed Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus and No. 12 Belinda Bencic of Switzerland meet in another fourth-round match.

Sabalenka improved to 7-0 in 2023 (14-0 in sets) with her 6-2, 6-3 win against No. 26 Elise Mertens of Belgium, her former doubles partner. Sabalenka finished the 74-minute match with a decisive 32-12 edge in winners.

Bencic extended her winning streak to seven with a 6-2, 7-5 defeat of Italy's Camila Giorgi, who won only 22 of 43 service points and committed 32 unforced errors.

"I'm happy with the win," Bencic said. "Of course [Giorgi is] a very explosive player. She has a lot of power when she hits the ball. It's not easy, of course, to play against her, but I think I was mentally ready for that."

In an all-Czech third-round match, 17-year-old Linda Fruhvirtova outlasted countrywoman Marketa Vondrousova 7-5, 2-6, 6-3. Fruhvirtova offset 11 double faults by winning 74 percent (20 of 27) of her points at the net.

Fruhvirtova will be making her first Round of 16 appearance at a Grand Slam when she meets Croatia's Donna Vekic, a 6-2, 6-2 winner against Spain's Nuria Parrizas-Diaz. She is the youngest woman to advance to the fourth round in this event since Coco Gauff in 2020.

"It feels pretty surreal," Fruhvirtova said. "Yeah, it's an incredible feeling. I'm just so happy and excited, you know, to be able to say, 'Hi, second week.'"

Also Saturday, No. 30 Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic beat Russia's Varvara Gracheva 6-4, 6-2 and No. 23 Shuai Zhang of China defeated American Katie Volynets 6-3, 6-2.

--Field Level Media

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