Wednesday was special for Victoria Azarenka, who celebrated her 150th victory in Grand Slam tournaments. Two-time Australian Open champion, the former world No. 1 secured a spot in the third round in Melbourne by beating Argentina’s Nadia Podoroska 6-1, 6-0.
Dominant from the start, Azarenka faced no break-points and conceded just nine points in her service games. Even with only six winners, against 10 of the rival, she managed six breaks. In addition, she made only 7 errors against 28 of her rival.
Azarenka faces in the third round the North American Madison Keys, who is undefeated in the season . The Belarusian, 24th in the ranking, won all three of her previous duels against her rival, number 13 in the world.
Another Grand Slam winner to advance was Elena Rybakina. Current Wimbledon champion and 25th in the world, the Kazakh surpassed Slovenian Kaja Juvan this Wednesday. Rybakina can face the American Danielle Collins, finalist of the last edition in Melbourne, or the Czech Karolina Muchova, semifinalist of the tournament in 2021.
Kasatkina and Zheng out
Eighth seed Daria Kasatkina didn’t make it past the first round in Melbourne. She lost a Russian duel to Varvara Gracheva by double 6-1 in just 55 minutes of departure this Wednesday. Gracheva faces the Italian from quali Lucrezia Stefanini.
China’s Qinwen Zheng, ranked 29th in Melbourne, lost in the second round to left-handed Bernarda Pera by a double 6/4. Pera, ranked 41st, is the next opponent of world number 7 Coco Gauff , in a duel between North American players.