Big names played according to their reputation on the day three of Australian Open 2020 as they breezed past their opponents in Melbourne. Defending champions Novak Djokovic and Naomi Osaka registered comprehensive victories on Wednesday to advance to the third round of the season-opening Grand Slam.
Other legends of the sport – Roger Federer and Serena Williams also romped past their opponents to book a place in the round of 32. Swiss maestro Federer blasts into the third round with ruthless performance against Filip Krajinovic. The 20-time Grand Slam champ defeated Krajinovic 6-1, 6-4, 6-1 on Wednesday.
On a day when men’s seeds tumbled, Djokovic strode towards his eighth Melbourne title and soon-to-retire Caroline Wozniacki lived to fight another day. The 32-year-old defeated Japanese wildcard Tatsuma Ito 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 at the at Rod Laver Arena in just 95 minutes to advance. He will next face another Japanese player Yoshihito Nishioka.
American legend Serena showed great resilience during a testing second set against 70th-ranked Tamara Zidansek, before seeing off break points to win 6-2, 6-3 in round 2.
In other women’s singles matches, Australia’s world number one Ashleigh Barty raced through 6-1, 6-4 against Polona Hercog, buoying hopes of a first home winner since 1978.
Petra Kvitova, last year’s runner-up, came through 7-5, 7-5 against Paula Badosa of Spain, and China’s Zhang Shuai ousted American Caty McNally 6-2, 6-4.
In men’s events, Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas was handed a slice of fortune when Philipp Kohlschreiber withdrew injured.
American teenager Gauff, showing a tenacity which is becoming her trademark, clawed her way back from a set down to beat the experienced Sorana Cirstea 4-6, 6-3, 7-5. Gauff, who bellowed and pumped her fists as she completed her victory, said her “will to win” had got her through the tough second-round match at a windswept Melbourne Park.
The world no.2 Serbian won his 901st tour-level win to reach the Australian Open third round for the 13th time in the past 14 years. His 900th victory came two days ago, against Jan-Lennard Struff.
After losing the first set in just 22 minutes, the 146th-ranked Japanese showed in the second set he could give the ball a fair thump, and went game-for-game with Djokovic.
However, the Serbian turned out to be too good for Ito as Djokovic improved his Australian Open win-loss record to a sparkling 70-8 and kept his campaign for a record-extending eighth title firmly on track.
Meanwhile, Osaka registered an impressive straight-sets 6-2, 6-4 victory over Zheng Saisai of China. The No.3 seed was twice down a service break before turning on a four-game barrage to progress at the Margaret Court Arena.
The former world no.1 is yet to drop a set at this year’s tournament and backed up a decisive win over Marie Bouzkova on Monday with a similarly straight-forward victory over Saisai in 80 minutes.
In total, Osaka struck 20 winners and 30 unforced errors and broke serve six times, winning over half of her points played on return and allowing Saisai just five points on her second serve.