Australian Open Women’s Day 3:
Defending champion Caroline Wozniacki kept up her momentum with a 6-1, 6-3 defeat of Swede Johanna Larson to continue her repeat title quest at the Australian Open on Wednesday.
Wozniacki won her ninth straight Melbourne match, moving through with 19 winners to 12 unforced errors.
“I thought it was a fine match. I think I started off, played well in the first set. I think she stepped it up a little bit in the second set. I think I served well,” the Dane said.
2017 US Open winner Sloane Stephens beat her one-time junior doubles partner, dealing Timea Babos 6-3, 6-1.
Stephens put her opponent under pressure, forcing the Hungarian to save 18 of 23 break points in a contest lasting for 95 minutes.
Fifth seed Stephens joined with Babos in 2010, with the pair of teengers taking junior doubles crowns at Roland Garros, Wimbledon and the US Open.
Sydney WTA champion Ash Barty kept the Aussie flag flying, winning the last five games in a 6-2,6-3 defeat of China’s Wang Yafan for her third-round place.
The top Australian will next battle Maria Sakkari – as well as a force of several hundred local Greek fans – after the European beat Astra Sharma of Australia 6-1, 6-4.
A trio of Europeans reached the third round:
Swiss Belinda Bencic beat Yulia Putintseva 7-5, 4-6, 6-2, Petra Kvitova hammered Irina Begu 6-1, 6-3 and former champion Angelique Kerber put out Beatriz haddhd Maia of Brazil 6-2, 6-3.
Teenaged Amanda Anisimova of the US crushed 24th-seeded Lesia Tsurenko of Ukraine 6-0, 6-2. Aussie wildcard Kimberly Birrell stunned Croatian Donna Vekic 6-4, 4-6, 6-1.
France’s Caroline Garcia put out Australian wild card Zoe Hives 6-3, 6-3, while Aliaksandra Sasnovich defeated Anett Kontaveit 6-3, 6-3.