Published: Sun, January 26, 2020
Sport | By Ruben Hill

Australian Open 2020: Pliskova, Bencic exit in third round

Australian Open 2020: Pliskova, Bencic exit in third round

Simona Halep and Angelique Kerber held the Grand Slam trophies in the air, learning how to lower their heads when groups of high-level players start to lose in the first week of the majors.

Three-time major champion Angelique Kerber has advanced to the fourth round at the Australian Open with a 6-2, 6-7 (4), 6-3 win over Camila Giorgi to continue her career winning streak over the Italian player.

TOURNAMENT SUMMARY: The women's draw has been blown wide open with Pliskova and Bencic following 2019 champion Naomi Osaka and seven-times victor Serena Williams out the exit gates.

World number 38 Putinseva broke Halep once in each set, but the Romanian proved too strong for her. Halep broke her opponent thrice in the first set and twice in the second.

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova is through to the next round in Melbourne. It's really tough to get match by match and to win seven matches, but I know it's possible.

Meanwhile, Rafael Nadal stepped up a gear to beat fellow countryman, Pablo Carreno Busta, 6-1, 6-2, 6-4. At a later press conference, she nearly laughed when asked if the nervousness in the locker room was contagious when the best players left. "Everything went pretty quickly my way, so I'll take it", she said after the clash.

"So, yeah, it was a little bit of frustration there". So it's more about caring yourself, working on your strengths and going for it. So it's not about looking around.

The left-handed Kerber next faces Pavlyuchenkova, who was a junior champion here 12 years ago when she beat Caroline Wozniacki in the final. They're playing for a spot in the quarterfinals, a stage Pavlyuchenkova has reached five times but never surpassed at the majors.

She said she wasn't patient enough in the past, but now puts more emphasis on every game. The Russian was able to consolidate the break and earn a clear advantage, but Pliskova finally managed to find her first serve in the third game and went straight back into business.

Having a bunch of top players missing from the second week doesn't come into her thinking either.

"I felt I did a lot of errors, actually". "Those are really big names and great players, but it's tennis". I think it's just about handling these things and to move on.

"I expected this kind of match".

Williams and Osaka lost at the same stage on Day 5, when Caroline Wozniacki was also beaten in a loss that sent the 2018 Australian Open victor into retirement. - Swiss sixth seed Belinda Bencic after joining the exodus of stars from the women's event with a 6-0 6-1 mauling at the hands of Anett Kontaveit.

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