Australian Open: Caroline Wozniacki, Gauff mount fightback; Barty party continues

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Australian Open: Caroline Wozniacki, Gauff mount fightback; Barty party continues

2018 Australian Open champion Caroline Wozniacki survived 23rd seed Dayana Yastremska in the second round to prolong her retirement further. The Dane won 7-5, 7-5 against the Ukrainian in two hours and two minutes to reach the third round.

It was an eventful match for both players, taking both physical and emotional – especially on Wozniacki – toll on them. Across the two sets, Yastremska had the cushion of a two-break lead across the two sets, it was Wozniacki’s grit saw her pull past her younger opponent.

In the second set, after Wozniacki took a 5-4 lead, Yastremska called for the trainer for treatment on her left thigh. Heavily bandaged, the 19-year-old faced three match points but dug her heels firmly enough to stave the lot and continue the match.

At 6-5, yet again serving to remain in the match, Yastremska faced three more break points and while she was successful with two, the third brought an end to her 2020 Australian Open. After the match, Wozniacki kept tears at bay while describing the heft of the situation and the effort it took for her to stay on at Melbourne Park, just a while longer.

“I was really nervous going into my first round. Today I actually felt pretty calm, but it quickly became 5-1, and I was thinking, 'Hopefully I can be out here for another 30 minutes to try and take it all in!' After winning this match, which was a really tough one, it's just so special to play in front of such an amazing crowd on one of my favourite courts,” she said, in her on-court interview.

Gauff, Barty Win Coco Gauff made a superb comeback in her 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 win over Sorana Cirstea in their second-round match that lasted two hours and six minutes. Gauff, who in her on-court interview after her win, said that she kept looking at her father, Cori Sr.

who she said kept encouraging her. “Get on, kid,” the 15-year-old said when asked what her father told her. Taking his advice to heart, the youngster mixed patience with tactical nous to first level the match at a set apiece, and then overturn a 0-3 deficit in the third set to make it to the third round in her first Australian Open appearance.

Her win would see the teenager face Naomi Osaka in a rematch of their 2019 US Open third-round encounter. Earlier, top-seed and world no. 1 Ashleigh Barty also made it through to the round-of-32 with a 6-1, 6-4 win over Polona Hercog, battling not just her opponent but also the wind.

Speaking with her former doubles partner Casey Dellaqua after the match, “It was a clean match, really happy to get out of that one. It was very different end to end – wind played a massive factor. Polona has the ability to hit you off the court so … it was about me making as many balls as I could and I was able to save a few break points in the second set as well”.

Barty will take on the in-form 29th seed Elena Rybakina, who is coming off a title run at the Hobart International. Rybakina defeated Belgian qualifier Greet Minnen 6-3, 6-4. Upsets Carla Suarez Navarro upset the 11th seed Aryna Sabalenka 7-6(8), 7-6(8) in their second-round match.

The Spaniard who is also retiring this year posted a photo on Twitter, captioning it, “Not done yet, @AustralianOpen See you in round 2” Thirteenth seed Petra Martic also lost. Julia Goerges defeated the Croatian 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 in two hours and six minutes. Photo Credit: Aus Open Twitter