Ons Jabeur lost to Marketa Vondrousova in round 2 of Australian Open. The Tunisian ranked on 2nd place in WTA ranking is the highest eliminated seed in women's draw so far. Jabeur, who already needed to gather up in her first round match against Tamara Zidansek, won in three sets, got really difficult task in the name of Vondrousova who is coming back to regular play after a few months break last season. Despite that, the Czech has already showed some displays of her class, winning 11 out of 14 matches after her come back to professional tournaments in October last year. The match started brilliantly for Vondrousova who was outplaying Jabeur since the first games, breaking early, increasing the lead to two breaks and clinching first set 6-1. Second one was more competitive with Jabeur trying to make up the gap, being on a front foot for almost whole the set. The TUunisian didn't manage to serve out the set within 5-4 score, did not convert the set point on Vondrousova's serve in 10th game, but gained the break in 12th game, forcing a decider. It was not an another epic whole distance battle though, as deciding set had similar course of events like the first one. The Czech was striking well with Jabeur making too many mistakes, dropping the ball completely and losing all her service games in third set. 6-1 for Vondrousova and early exit for Tunisian who needs to delay her dreams of winning maiden Grand Slam title.
Vondrousova will face her fellowcountry, 17 years-old Linda Fruhvirtova. The youngster arrived to round 3 without losing a set so far, defeating two Aussies, Jaime Fourlis and Kimberly Birrell.
The most interesting match-up on paper was Caroline Garcia against Leylah Fernandez. WTA Finals winner from last year was under immense pressure in first set, being a break down after 5 games and facing four breakpoints during the 9th and 11th game when she served for staying in the set. Tiebreak was also a challenge for French player who was 0-4 down, but the Canadian did not utilized her advantage and lost, while Garcia won 7 out of 8 next points. Second set was also not easy for Garcia, as Fernandez was holding her serve with confidence and putting pressure, creating 3 breakpoints but not converting any of those. First trouble for Canadian came in 11th game, as she did not manage to come out from 0-40 danger and lost the match in general. It was very interesting match from statistical point of view, while Fernandez created 9 breakpoints to only 3 of Garcia, but it was 4th player in WTA ranking who converted her few chances clinically. Both players scored 81 points on each side as well, so the final score does not tell whole the truth about the match.
Belinda Bencic has also struggled a bit against Claire Liu. The Swiss was a break down in first set and defended two set points, while Liu gave away set win from the score 5-4 40-15 on her own serve. First set was settled in tiebreak, won by Bencic 7-4. Second set was shaky, as both players were losing their serves in 5 games in a row. At the end it was Bencic who won it 7-6 6-3. Another title contender made easy win today, as Aryna Sabalenka defeated Shelby Rogers 6-3 6-1.