Saturday's women's action in Australian Open 2023 brought up some mix of emotions and surprises, despite 6 out of 8 matches ending up in straight sets.
Linda Fruhvirtova continues her impressive run in Melbourne, upsetting fellowcountry Marketa Vondorusova. 17 years old Czech, who won just one Grand Slam main draw match before the start of AO 2023 was quite an underdog against her more experienced opponent in this Czech pairing. Vondrousova, who defeated seed #2 Ons Jabeur in previous round, was a favorite with an average odd 1.34 approaching to this match. It was also the first really serious test of abilities for young player, who did not face an opponent from top 150 of WTA ranking in this tournament so far. Despite facing really tough in-form rival this time, Linda Fruhvirtova took up the challenge and started the match playing without a fear, being on a front foot from the start. She was the first who broke in opening set, which brought 6 breaks in general and a couple of plot twists. The youngster who lost her momentum for a while, managed to make up the gap, breaking Vondrousova in 10th game to level the score and gaining another one in 12th game, converting first set point in this match. Second set was dictated by the favorite of this match, while Vondrousova won easily 6-2. More experienced player in this pairing followed the blow, gaining the break at the start of deciding set, but Fruhvirtova not gave up, leveling the score in 6th game and breaking Vondrousova once again two games later. Young Czech held up her nerves serving for the match with a style, making quite an upset, reaching out the 4th round of Grand Slam. Fruhvirtova will face Donna Vekic in the next round. Croatian player had no trouble against Nuria Parrizas Diaz, winning 6-2 6-2.
Aryna Sabalenka will set up an absolute hit clash of 4th round against Belinda Bencic. Both top 10 players are in impressive form so far this year, sharing the titles in two WTA 500 Adelaide tournaments, which preceeded Australian Open. They are also doing really well in the AO in particular, reaching the round of 16 without losing a single set and dominating their opponents in all matches up to this point. Those two names are considered as a top favorites along with Iga Swiatek and Jessica Pegula, so the contest between them in 4th round can be considered as a great tennis spectacle.
Another title contender - Caroline Garcia, needed to make some more effort in goal to advance into 4th round. French player who was a clear favorite against Laura Siegemund (ranked #158). Garcia lost the first shockingly easily, being really vulnerable on serve, losing two of her service games and having no response for a confident play of her opponent who clinched it 6-1 in just 34 minutes. Playing under pressure in second set, Garcia raised up the level of her game to the high standards, losing just 6 points on her service games and gaining the decisive break in 6th game. Both players shared the breaks in opening two games of deciding sets, but it was Garcia who held her nerves in crucial moments in the last games, earning two breaks and winning the match 1-6 6-3 6-3. It was really impressive display of tennis from her lower ranked opponent, who was serving really well, having 74% first serve accuracy in the match, which brought just 9 breakpoints in general, while 5 of those appeared in last three games. It was really tight and interesting match, real test of abilities for Garcia, who will face Magda Linette in next round. Polish player who showed really good form in United Cup at the start of this year, eliminated the seeded player Ekaterina Alexandrova, being a better player in the straight sets match ended up with score 6-3 6-4 in just 77 minutes.