Quarterfinal pairings in women's Australian Open 2023 are completed after Monday's exciting Round of 16 matches which emerged two QF pairs from bottom half of the draw.
The top match of today's action on women's side was definitely a clash between Aryna Sabalenka and Belinda Bencic. Both players approached to this match being in great form since the start of 2023, being considered as two most dangerous players in the draw's bottom half. Sabalenka was a slight favorite referring to the pre-match odds and she fulfilled the role of favorite winning the match in straight set. First games did not went well for the Belarusian, as she got broken by Bencic in third game. Since then, the rest of the match was a display of huge form presented by Sabalenka, who has not faced any single breakpoint till the end of the match, no one of her remaining service games ended up even with deuce. Bencic was no match for her opponent today, as she got broken twice in both sets. Sabalenka was dominant in every statistic, hitting hard as always, scoring 32 winners to just 18 unforced errors, while the Swiss was able to produce just 14 winners with 15 UFEs. With a form like this, Sabalenka needs to be considered as a top title contender and is a huge favorite to reach the Grand Slam final from all the players who are left in her half of the draw.
Donna Vekic will the opponent of Sabalenka in quarterfinal. The Croatian played an exciting match against sensational 17 years-old Linda Fruhvirtova. The match was a rollercoaster in terms of momentum switches. Vekic won the first set in a dominant style, breaking her opponent three times. Second set went for a favour of Fruhvirtova, who was much more reliable on serve, facing no trouble in her service games and breaking Vekic twice, winning it 6-1. The Czech was in the driver's seat after start of the opening set, as she earned the first break in third game, but did not confirm her advantage as Vekic re-breaked one game later. Last games were shaky on both sides, but it was Vekic who earned the decisive break in 8th game and served out the final victory 6-2 1-6 6-3. It's second Grand Slam QF for Vekic, who repeats her career's best result from US Open 2019.
Magda Linette continues her fairytale AO run, advancing to the quarterfinal after making a notable upset on seed #4 - Caroline Garcia. French player who was a clear favorite of this match started it with style, winning first 3 games, including double break. Linette did not discouraged herself, regrouping well, gaining the re-break in fourth game. Garcia did not manage to serve out the set, as Linette leveled the score in 10th game and moved the settlement into tiebreak, which was grabbed by the Pole with score 7-3. Garcia needed another comeback in this tournament, but Linette was playing flawless tennis, being confident on serve and the chances on her own, playing with no complexes against last year's WTA Finals champion. Linette created 5 breakpoint chances in whole set and converted the last one, in such a crucial moment, moving into the 5-4 lead and serving out the QF advance in general. 7-6 6-4 and career's best result for Linette, who will be top 30 member after AO for the first time. Definitely the time of life in tennis career for the Pole who was always reliable in team competitions and capable of making upsets on more entitled players.
Karolina Pliskova gave no chance for Shuai Zhang, setting up the QF pair with Linette. The Czech won the first set with bagel. Zhang tried to make the comeback, earning the break in second set, but Pliskova was unbeatable in the decisive phase winning 4 games in a row and gaining an easy victory in just 57 minutes.