Americans Jessica Pegula and Coco Gauff continued to roll at this year's Australian Open.
The No.3 seed Pegula beat Ukraine's Marta Kostyuk 6-0, 6-2 in Friday's third round to book a spot in the tournament's second week for the third straight year, while Gauff handled Bernarda Pera 6-3, 6-2 to reach the last 16 for the second time.
In three matches in Melbourne, Pegula has lost only 11 games in six sets.
"I think the score obviously looked dominant, but there was a lot of really tough games in that match," Pegula said afterward." She can be really a dangerous player.
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"I think I just did a good job of playing every single point, every single game, really tough, not letting her kind of get any free points or free games. I made her really have to earn it today. I think that paid off."
The great wall of Pegula 🎾@JLPegula • @wwos • @espn • @Eurosport • @wowowtennis • #AusOpen • #AO2023 pic.twitter.com/rllXLjOVPh— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 20, 2023
Match management: The 65-minute contest inside Margaret Court Arena was a tighter match than the score line suggested. Four of the six games in the first set all extended to multiple deuces, and Pegula saved five break points in the game she eventually held to lead 4-0.
The second set was more of the same. Pegula raced out to a 4-1 lead, before Kostyuk got a break back. The Ukrainian later missed a forehand volley on game point for 4-3 before losing serve again, and failed to convert two break points in the final game.
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A Grand Slam champion up next: Should Pegula want to match her quarterfinal showing from each of the last two years, she'll have to beat a former major-winner, No.20 seed Barbora Krejickova.
The 2021 Roland Garros champion booked her own spot in the fourth round with a 6-2, 6-3 win over another Ukrainian, Anhelina Kalinina. Krejcikova and Pegula have never played.
Highlights: Krejcikova def. Kalinina
Krejcikova has been similarly comprehensive so far in Melbourne. She's lost 14 games in six sets.
Gauff downs Pera in all-American affair
Gauff has now matched her best result Down Under. Similarly to Pegula's performance against Kostyuk, Gauff's victory was also much closer than the scoreboard. Pera saved 12 of the 16 break points that Gauff created in the match and hit one more winner (24) than her younger American compatriot. However, Pera's 40 unforced errors were her undoing.
En route to the fourth round 🔥@CocoGauff 🇺🇸 powers past Pera 6-3 6-2. #AusOpen • #AO2023 pic.twitter.com/ncBNsPJJbo— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 20, 2023
Gauff also reached the fourth round in 2020, where she lost to eventual champion Sofia Kenin. She'll next face 2017 Roland Garros winner Jelena Ostapenko, who beat Ukraine's Kateryna Baindl for the first time in four career meetings, 6-3, 6-0.