Australian Open: Marta Kostyuk beats Olivia Rogowska as youngster continues to amaze

TENNIS-AUS-OPEN
Elina Svitolina celebrates her victory against Czech Republic's Katerina Siniakova during their women's singles second round match | AFP
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18 January, 2018

The world number one Spaniard's march towards a 17th Grand Slam crown was never threatened by Argentina's Leonardo Mayer, who took him to a third set tiebreak before being swatted aside 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (7/4) on Rod Laver Arena.

Nadal, a losing finalist past year to Roger Federer, played Leonardo Mayer in the third match on center court. "I'm super happy about it". "I beat some records or repeat them every year, so I feel okay".

Their fellow Ukrainian, Kateryna Bondarenko, beat No. 15-seeded Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-2, 6-3 in the day's opening match on Melbourne Park's third show court to reach the third round here for the third time.

The Bulgarian needed to call on all his experience to down the 186th-ranked American 4-6, 6-2, 6-4, 0-6, 8-6.

It's not a stretch to say that Kostyuk's story is the most improbable yet most breathtaking we've seen in tennis in a long time. "It all came down to a few points here and there".

No. 19 Magdalena Rybarikova beat Kirsten Flipkens 6-4, 0-6, 6-2. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the 2008 Australian Open finalist, rallied from 5-2 down in the fifth to overcome Canadian Denis Shapovalov 3-6, 6-3, 1-6, 7-6 (4), 7-5.

The Ukrainian is now on a seven-match win streak and after picking up five WTA Tour titles previous year, more than any other woman, is a serious Grand Slam contender.

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The feat makes Kostyuk the youngest player to reach the third round at the Australian Open since Martina Hingis in 1996. Granted a wild card to the qualifying draw after capturing the Australian Open junior title past year, Kostyuk won three matches to earn a spot in the main draw, then upset the No. 25-seeded Chinese veteran Peng Shuai in the first round.

The victor of the junior title past year, Kostyuk will take home 142,500 AUD if she loses to countrywoman Elina Svitolina next.

"I heard a lot of times that I'm talented, and I know that", said the confident teen.

"It was, like, big question that I'm going to step on court for my first round", Svitolina said in a news conference after her match Wednesday. Svitolina, who won the Roland Garros juniors when she was 15, said, "It's good, pretty cool that I'm playing someone from my country".

"When you win one, two matches, everybody focuses on you", said Bencic, who has since struggled with injuries and lost her second-round match at the Australian Open only two days after an upset win over Venus Williams. "I already know a little bit where I'm going to spend this".

But on Wednesday, the 20-year-old came crashing back down to earth, exiting the tournament in the second round at the hands of World No.124, Luksika Kumkhum, who won 6-1, 6-3.


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