MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Highlights of the third day at the Australian Open, the first Grand Slam tournament of the year, on Wednesday (times AEST; GMT+11):
1544 GAUFF SETS UP OSAKA SHOWDOWN
Teenager Coco Gauff, who sent fellow American Venus Williams packing in the opening round, surrendered the first set but fought back to beat Romanian Sorana Cirstea 4-6 6-3 7-5. The 15-year-old faces Naomi Osaka next.
1535 PELLA THROUGH TO THIRD ROUND
Argentine Guido Pella, the 22nd seed, advanced to the third round for the first time in six appearances with a 6-1 6-4 3-6 6-3 win over Frenchman Gregoire Barrere.
Joining him was American Sam Querrey, who beat Lithuania’s Ricardas Berankis 7-6(2) 4-6 6-4 6-4, and Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka, who eased past Britain’s Dan Evans 6-4 6-3 6-4.
1454 WOZNIACKI STAYS ALIVE WITH GRITTY DISPLAY
Caroline Wozniacki, the 2018 champion who is set to retire after the tournament, fought back from 1-5 down in the first set to beat Ukrainian teenager Dayana Yastremska 7-5 7-5.
Yastremska, 19, saved five match points after a medical timeout for a left leg injury but she was unable to prevent Wozniacki from closing out the match.
Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro, who will hang up her racket at the end of the year, knocked out 11th seed Aryna Sabalenka 7-6(6) 7-6(6) in a first-round clash carried over from Tuesday.
1421 BARTY MOVES INTO THIRD ROUND
Top seed Ash Barty looked in ominous form in her quest for a second Grand Slam title as she powered past unseeded Slovenian Polona Hercog 6-1 6-4.
1413 FIT-AGAIN SWIATEK WINS OPENER AGAINST BABOS
Polish teenager Iga Swiatek tasted victory in her first match since the U.S. Open after an injury left her unable to walk normally. She beat Timea Babos 6-3 6-2.
“So happy to be back… important note: I served 188kmph and it was in,” she tweeted.
1305 KVITOVA DOWNS BADOSA
Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova fired seven aces and 31 winners in a tight 7-5 7-5 victory over Spain’s Paula Badosa in their first career meeting.
1257 CATCHING BARTY IS NOT OSAKA’S IMMEDIATE PRIORITY
Defending champion Naomi Osaka said after her win over Zheng Saisai that she was not giving too much thought to reclaiming the world number one ranking, with top-ranked Ash Barty well in front of the Japanese third seed.
“Ash is like 2,000 points ahead of me and I have to defend this, I’m like yo, I’m going to drop out of the top 10 for real,” the 22-year-old said.
1246 OSAKA STAVES OFF ZHENG CHALLENGE
Defending champion Naomi Osaka fended off a strong comeback attempt from China’s Zheng Saisai, rallying from 4-2 down in the second set to prevail 6-2 6-4 and reach the third round.
1100 PLAY UNDERWAY
Play started on schedule on day three, with defending champion Naomi Osaka taking on China’s Zheng Saisai at Margaret Court Arena for a place in the third round on a warm, gusty morning at Melbourne Park.
The temperature is forecast to reach 32 degrees Celsius (90F) before a late cool change brings rain.
(Compiled by Ian Ransom and Shrivathsa Sridhar; Editing by Peter Rutherford)