Two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka reached the quarter-finals of the Grampians Trophy in Melbourne on Friday. The Belarusian won a tightly-contested match against Yulia Putintseva 6-4, 1-6, 11-9. Azarenka was down a break in the opening set before overturning the break to take the lead in the match.
The former world no. 1 also faced two match points in the match tie-break but as in the first set came back to win the tie-break and take the match. The third seed will take on sixth-seeded Estonian Anett Kontaveit in the last-eight.
Kontaveit beat Bethanie Mattek-Sands in straight sets 7-5, 7-5.
Grampians Trophy: Belinda Bencic, Elena Rybakina bid adieu
Fifth seed Maria Sakkari also reached the last-eight with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Leylah Fernandez. The Greek will play eighth seed, Angelique Kerber, for a place in the semi-finals.
The German defeated Ons Jabeur 6-4, 6-4. Post-match, Sakkari said, "I was impressed with my performance because I didn’t expect myself to play that well. I’m pleased with the way I played, and it’s great to get some matches before the [Australian] Open."
Addressing the media, post her win, the former world no. 1 said, “This is, for me, I think, a good sign that I can find my rhythm a little bit, and have another match tomorrow. I think it’s good to have another match against a good opponent.
It will be another good match where I can also get tested and play high-level tennis”. Seventh-seeded American Jennifer Brady ousted Marta Kostyuk in the pre-quarter-final. Brady also won in straight sets 6-1, 6-4. She will take on Czech Barbora Krejcikova in the quarters.
Krejcikova upset the fourth seed Elena Rybakina 4-6, 6-2, 10-6. The last quarter-final at the Grampians Trophy will be played between Sorana Cirstea and Ann Li. Cirstea upset the second seed Belinda Bencic in straight sets 7-5, 6-2 while Li won against Veronika Kudermetova 7-5, 6-3.