Australian Open 2022: Ash Barty, Nadal progress to third round
The top seed in the women's category and home favorite Ashleigh Barty has progressed to the third round of the Australian Open on Wednesday. The two-time Grand Slam champion defeated Italy's Lucia Bronzetti in straight sets 6-1, 6-1 at Rod Laver Arena. In the men's category, former world number one Rafael Nadal eased past Germany's Yannick Hanfmann in straight sets 6-2, 6-3, 6-4.
- Barty enjoyed a terrific run in 2021 to finish the year as world number one.
- She had a thumping start in 2022 as well, clinching the season-opening Adelaide International title.
- Now, she is looking to add to her Slam tally by becoming the first Australian to win AO since Chris O'Neil in 1978.
- Meanwhile, Nadal is hoping to lift his record 21st Grand Slam.
Bronzetti failed in containing Barty and in the process conceded the match in just 52 minutes. Barty smashed eight aces and 21 winners. Both of them made 14 unforced errors but Barty was quick to learn, unlike her opponent. She will next take on Italy' Camila Giorgi in the third round. Giorgi defeated Tereza Martincova 6-2, 7-6(2) to set a date with Barty.
After dismantling Bronzetti in less than an hour, Barty said she used her experience to gain an advantage. "I felt like I wanted to use my experience a little bit, get off to a quick start. I felt like I was able to do that. I served well. I was able to find plenty of forehands and control the match quite well," she said.
Victoria Azarenka and eighth seed Paula Badosa emerged victorious in the second round on Wednesday. Badosa defeated Italian qualifier Martina Trevisan in straight sets 6-0, 6-3. Azarenka bested Switzerland's Jil Teichmann 6-1, 6-2. America's Madison Keys went past Romania's Jaqueline Cristian 6-2, 7-5. Jessica Pegula defeated Croatian-American Bernarda Pera 6-4, 6-4. Jeļena Ostapenko got the better of Alison Riske 4-6, 6-2, 6-4
Nadal, the only former champion left in the men's draw, defeated Hanfmann in two hours and 43 minutes. He is yet to drop a set in the Australian Open. Hanfmann started the match well but his error count increased as the game progressed, which resulted in a straight-set loss. Rafa will next take on France's Benjamin Bonzi or Russia's Karen Khachanov in 4th round.
"I played him (Hanfmann) in the first round of Roland Garros a couple of years ago," Nadal said. "Coming from the qualifiers he was used to the court and is a player with big shots, a good serve and high potential. Today his level of tennis was much higher than what his ranking says so I wish him all the very best," he added.
USA's Reilly Opelka defeated Germany's Dominik Koepfer 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (4). Seventh seed Matteo Berrettini defeated America's Stefan Kozlov 6-1, 4-6, 6-4, 6-1. Canada's Denis Shapovalov won the five-set battle against Korea's Soonwoo Kwon 7-6(6), 6-7(3), 6-7(6), 7-5, 6-2. Spain's Pablo Carreno Busta also had to battle in five sets to progress against the Netherlands' Tallon Griekspoor 6-3, 6-7(6), 7-6(3), 3-6, 6-4.