Round 2 at the Australian Open saw a slew of upsets in the bottom half of the draw while the favorites in the top half appear to be hurtling toward a blistering slate of fourth-round clashes. But will they actually materialize? WTA Insider breaks down the action and looks ahead to what's next. 

Biggest Upsets

Clara Tauson: A former junior No.1 and 2019 Australian Open girls champion, the 19-year-old Dane put in the performance of her career to knock out No.6 seed Anett Kontaveit 6-2, 6-4. Feeling like she was in the zone, Tauson said she threw tactics out the window and just crushed the ball at will. The result was her first Top 10 win and first third-round appearance at a major. Next: Danielle Collins.

Alize Cornet: The biggest upset of the tournament so far belongs to the French veteran, who ousted No.3 Garbine Muguruza in a decisive 6-3, 6-3 win. After the match, Cornet told reporters this very well could be her final season. Cornet, who left the door open for 2023, said she wants to break the record for consecutive main-draw appearances at the Slams. She is in line to do so if she plays all majors this year -- the US Open would be her 63rd straight. Next: Tamara Zidansek.

Danka Kovinic: Ranked No.98, Kovinic became the first player representing Montenegro to reach the third round at a major. The 29-year-old held her nerve to defeat US Open champion Emma Raducanu 6-4, 4-6, 6-3. Next: Simona Halep. 

Amanda Anisimova: On 2022 form, it wasn't the upset it seemed on paper, but the former French Open semifinalist is now 7-0 this season. Her 6-2, 7-5 win over Belinda Bencic was an impressive display of big-hitting and composure. Next: Naomi Osaka.

Top Performers

Ashleigh Barty: The World No.1 kept rolling in Round 2, defeating Lucia Bronzetti 6-1, 6-1. Barty has lost just three games en route to the third round and extended her unbroken streak to 48 consecutive games. Next: Camila Giorgi.

Iga Swiatek and Simona Halep: With the upsets coming in the bottom half on Day 4, Swiatek and Halep emerged as the frontrunners for a potential semifinal clash. Swiatek dominated Rebecca Peterson 6-2, 6-2 and has lost only seven games through two rounds. Halep cleaned up the day with her best performance of the season, a 6-2, 6-0 win over Beatriz Haddad Maia. Next: Swiatek faces Daria Kasatkina, Halep takes on Kovinic. 

Barbora Krejcikova: The No.4 seed has been razor sharp, losing just seven games to book her first third-round appearance at Melbourne Park. She'll get her first real test against junior cohort Jelena Ostapenko, with the winner to face either Victoria Azarenka or Elina Svitolina.

Paula Badosa: Fatigue may be a factor for the Spaniard, but there are no questions about her form. Like Swiatek and Krejcikova, Badosa has dropped only seven games through two matches. She'll face her good friend Marta Kostyuk next.

Naomi Osaka: The defending champion dominated Madison Brengle for much of their second-round duel. Osaka was tested late in the second set but came through. After a poor service game in which she was broken, Osaka refocused and lost just two more points down the stretch to win 6-0, 6-4. Next: Anisimova. 

Key Takeaways

Favorites whittled down: The bottom half of the draw saw a seismic shift Thursday with the surprise exits of 2020 finalist Garbine Muguruza, No.6 seed Anett Kontaveit and No.12 seed Elena Rybakina, who retired after a set to Zhang Shuai. Given their form and experience, No.7 seed Swiatek and No.14 seed Halep appear to lead the pack, though the half remains deceptively experienced with respect to deep Slam runs. While Halep and Swiatek are the only Slam champions, Daniel Collins, Elise Mertens, Timara Zidansek, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Marketa Vondrousova and No.2 seed Aryna Sabalenka have all made at least one semifinal at a Slam. That's half of the remaining 16 who have made it to the final four.

Top half remains loaded: If the rankings hold on Day 5, we're in for a spectacular Round of 16 in the top half: Barty vs. Osaka, Pegula vs. Sakkari, Krejcikova vs. Azarenka and Keys vs. Badosa. No one is writing those matchups in stone, especially given the events of Day 4, but it's certainly an exciting prospect.

Sabalenka surviving: Can the World No.2 win without a reliable serve? That's the question every time Sabalenka has taken the court in Melbourne. Since the start of the WTA Finals last fall, Sabalenka has served 112 double faults in seven matches, including 31 in her two matches this week. Sabalenka says the issue is purely mental and she's learning to divorce her service issues from her dominant baseline game. She's needed three tough sets to beat both Storm Sanders and Wang Xinyu, but so long as she faces a player with a serve she can attack, she's giving herself a chance.

Kanepi looks to complete the set: The definition of "unseeded and looming," Kanepi has made the quarterfinals at every major except the Australian Open. She could round that out here at the age of 36. After wins over Angelique Kerber and Marie Bouzkova, Kanepi will face Australian wildcard Maddison Inglis. The winner would face either Sabalenka or Marketa Vondrousova for a spot in the quarterfinals.

Notable Numbers

5: Consecutive matches for Barty without dropping serve. 

2: Matches played by Kovinic that lasted over two and a half hours. She played the longest match of the tournament in the first round (3 hours, 9 minutes) and the third-longest in the second round (2 hours, 38 minutes). 

4: Azarenka's career wins (4-0) against her third-round opponent, Svitolina. 

11: Wins for Madison Keys in 2021. The American already has eight in 2022.

83: First-serve percentage for Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in her first two matches.

Best Quote

Q: Is it in some ways a relief, given how painful [the blisters are], that you're not going to have to go out there and play a former World No. 1 with an injury like that?

Emma Raducanu: "Yeah, I don't think you're getting very far against Simona with a slice forehand. Not gonna lie [smiling]."