Petra Kvitova reached the third round with a hard-earned 7-5, 7-5 win over Paula Badosa on Wednesday at the Australian Open. The Czech struggled with her rhythm because of the wind even as her Spanish opponent remained unaffected by it on the other side of the net.
The match had numerous breaks traded between the two players, and it was Badosa who broke the first time in the match – to go up 4-2 in the opening set. However, not only did Kvitova broke back, a few games down the line, she secured another crucial break to win the second set.
In the second set, the southpaw had to save three set points before she could claim victory in straight sets, after 98 minutes of play. Kvitova hit 31 winners and had 28 unforced errors. Badosa had 19 winners and unforced errors each.
The 2019 finalist will play the 25th seed Ekaterina Alexandrova or compatriot, qualifier Barbora Krejcikova in the third round. Defending champion Naomi Osaka also reached the third round after her 6-2, 6-4 win over Saisai Zheng, in one hour and 20 minutes.
The match started out with Osaka going up an early break but Zheng’s crafty game helped her break back to level the set at two games apiece. Zheng’s resistance met with a brick wall thereafter in the set as Osaka did not lose a game to take the lead in the match.
In the second set, coupled with Osaka encountering a brief slump and Zheng determined to not fade away without accounting for herself in the match, the Chinese took a 4-2 lead. Osaka regained her equilibrium long enough to erase the break, and then claim one more to secure her way forward in the tournament.
In her on-court interview, Osaka said Zheng’s 4-2 lead in the second set reinvigorated her. “I got fired up when she got up 4-2 and people started clapping more… Yeah, I just wanted to fight. I’ve been in this position on this court before.
I didn’t want to go three sets”. The two-time Major champion hit 20 winners and 30 unforced errors. Zheng had just the seven winners and 20 unforced errors. Osaka awaits the winner between Coco Gauff and Sorana Cirstea in the next round. Photo Credit: Aus Open Twitter