Australian Open: Victoria Azarenka overcomes Elina Svitolina, reaches last 16
Victoria Azarenka of Belarus has become the first player to reach the Round of 16 at the ongoing Australian Open. The two-time Australian Open champion overcame 15th seed Elina Svitolina 6-0, 6-2. Azarenka, who came into the match with a 4-0 record against Svitolina, won in over an hour. Later, eighth seed Paula Badosa defeated Marta Kostyuk to enter the last 16.
- Azarenka has reached the fourth round at the Australian Open for the first time since 2016 when she made the quarter-finals.
- Between 2009 and 2016, Azarenka reached this stage in Melbourne for eight consecutive years.
- The 32-year-old won this Grand Slam in 2012 and 2013.
- Notably, Azarenka last played the final of any Grand Slam in 2020 (US Open).
Azarenka played her first match against a Top 20 player at the Australian Open since the 2016 edition. She lost to seventh seed Angelique Kerber in the quarter-final in 2016. The German handed Azarenka a straight-set defeat (6-3, 7-5).
Azarenka won a total of 59 points and 17 winners in the match. She fired four aces as compared to Svitolina's one. The former won three return winners. She won 49% of receiving points (19/39) and 92% of net points (11/12). Svitolina (3) recorded more double faults than Azarenka (1). The latter smashed the fastest serve of the match (181 KPH).
Azarenka has improved to a 5-0 record against Svitolina. She earlier beat the Ukrainian 6-2, 6-4 in Doha (quarter-final) last year. In 2019, Azarenka outlasted her in Rome (Round of 32). She won twice against Svitolina in 2015. In Toronto, Azarenka earned a straight-set win (Round of 64), while Svitolina made her work in Doha despite losing (Round of 16).
Azarenka will next face Czech Republic's Barbora Krejcikova. The 26-year-old claimed a terrific comeback win against Jelena Ostapenko in the third round. She lost the first set 2-6 before winning the next two 6-4 and 6-4. Notably, Azarenka won the only match between her and Krejcikova on the WTA Tour in 2020. She won 2-6, 6-2, 6-1 in Ostrava.
Among others, eighth seed Paula Badosa beat Ukrainian teenager Marta Kostyuk despite losing a set. The former won 6-2, 5-7, 6-4 to reach the fourth round at the Australian Open for the first time. Badosa was leading at 6-2, 4-2 before Kostyuk bounced back. However, she kept her nerves and sailed through the third set. Badosa won after two hours and 19 minutes.