American Jessica Pegula beat Aliaksandra Sasnovich at a Grand Slam event for the second time in five months on Wednesday to move safely through to the third round of the Australian Open.
After beating Sasnovich 6-4, 6-4 in the second round of the US Open in September, Pegula recorded a 6-2, 7-6(5) win in the same round in Melbourne to reach the last 32 for the ninth time in the past 10 majors.
Pegula still managed to close out a straight-sets victory under the Rod Laver Arena roof in 91 minutes after failing to serve out the win earlier at 6-2, 5-4.
More from Day 3:
- Swiatek overpowers Osorio, Bucsa upsets Andreescu
- Gauff holds off Raducanu
- Slam champions Ostapenko, Krejcikova, Rybakina, Azarenka advance
- With Netflix cameras on her, Pegula shows off her punditry
- Krejcikova healthy and happy again
- Day 3 by the numbers
- Great Escapes 2023: Winning from match point down
Words from the winner: Having just played her at the last hard-court Grand Slam, Pegula said she was ready for the challenge that World No.38 Sasnovich posed, a player who just missed out on the Top 32 seeds.
"... At the Open, I won 4 and 4, but I definitely felt like it easily could've been the other way," Pegula told ESPN's Rennae Stubbs after the match. "So I was definitely ready for her to get streaky, to get hot, and I'm just glad that I was able to close it out in two [sets].
"Even though it seemed like I was cruising, I had a lot of tough services games, a lot of long return games as well. It toughens you up."
Digging deep 💪— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 18, 2023
No. 3 seed @JLPegula holds off a spirited challenge from Sasnovich 👏@wwos • @espn • @eurosport • @wowowtennis • #AusOpen • #AO2023 pic.twitter.com/Zy9Zl0wnmW
Keys rolls into Round 3
Pegula's fellow American Madison Keys also won in straight sets to reach the third round. The No.10 seed and 2022 semifinalist knocked off Wang Xinyu, 6-3, 6-2.
After she needed three sets in a first-round win over Anna Blinkova that ended near midnight on Monday, Keys' first match against Wang was much less complicated.
She doubled Wang's total of winners (26 to 13) and created 17 break points for herself in 77 minutes. After losing serve in the first game of the match, Keys broke back straight away -- part of four straight games she won in the opener to establish control of the contest.
Madison loves Australia. Australia loves Madison ❤️🇦🇺— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 18, 2023
The No. 10 seed has won 1️⃣7️⃣ of her past 18 matches Down Under!@Madison_Keys • @wwos • @espn • @eurosport • @wowowtennis • #AusOpen • #AO2023 pic.twitter.com/7WTFgalU14
"I don't come across many players that I haven't played at this point, so that was always fun to get to play someone new," Keys said in an on-court interview following the match.
"Obviously, she's a great player and had a really good first round. "I knew I was going to have to try and get ahead in scores as quickly as possible to keep momentum, and I think I did that pretty well. After a few tricky games in the second set, being able to break, everything came together nicely."
Stat of the day: Keys has now won 17 of her past 18 matches in Australia. In addition to reaching the semifinals in Melbourne a year ago, she also won one of the two tournaments played in Adelaide earlier this month.