Day 5 of the Australian Open saw solid performances of all the biggest names, while two-time Grand Slam champion Svetlana Kuznetsova and former world No.1 Jelena Jankovic treated us with the most entertaining third-round match on Thursday.
Top-ranked Angelique Kerber raced past Kristyna Pliskova 6-0 6-4 on Rod Laver Arena, tennis legend Venus Williams lost just one game against Duan Yingying, and reigning French Open champion Garbine Muguruza defeated Anastasija Sevastova in straight sets, 6-4 6-2.
In a WTA throwback special that lasted three hours and 36 minutes, eighth-seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova eliminated Jelena Jankovic 6-4 5-7 9-7.
The dramatic encounter could’ve been a straight-setter, as Kuznetsova served for victory at 5-4 in the second set, but JJ fought back only to miss her own chances in the third set, as the Serb wasted break points to go up 4-0.
From a 4-2 lead in the third set, Jankovic lost three games, but the end was not near yet. When serving for the match in the decider, Kuznetsova again dropped serve! Obviously, Jankovic had her chances, but the Russian finished the job in the 16th game of the third set, as the Serb made a forced forehand error to lose the game at love. Both players ran the distance of more than 12 km in this match, Kuznetsova close to 13 km!
Also through to the fourth round is American Coco Vandeweghe, who left her heart on the court to beat Eugenie Bouchard 6-4 3-6 7-5. Mona Barthel made the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the first time, as after eliminating Olympic gold medalist Monica Puig, the German defeated Australian Ashleigh Barty 6-4 3-6 6-3. Seed No.24 Anastasia Pavluychenkova beat 11th seed Elina Svitolina 7-5 4-6 6-3 and Sorana Cirstea, who upset tenth seed Carla Suarez Navarro in the second round, continued her winning ways with a 6-2 7-6(2) triumph over Alison Riske.