MELBOURNE, Australia -- Linda Fruhvirtova advanced to the Round of 16 at the Australian Open on Saturday, defeating fellow 2019 French Open finalist Marketa Vondrousova 7-5, 2-6, 6-3 in the third round.
At 17, she is the youngest woman to advance to the fourth round of the Australian Open since Coco Gauff in 2020.
"It feels pretty surreal," Fruhvirtova told reporters. "Yeah, it's an incredible feeling. I'm just so happy and excited, you know, to be able to say, 'Hi, second week.'"
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Currently ranked No.82 and playing in just her second main draw at a major, Fruhvirtova rallied from a 3-1 down in the final set to grind out the win over Vondrousova, who defeated No.2 Ons Jabeur in the second round.
Striking 35 winners across the 2 hour and 17 minute match, Fruhvirtova bested her crafty compatriot in the longer rallies, winning 56 of the 94 rallies that extended past four shots.
"I think it was pretty important for me to keep going for it, to keep pushing her," Fruhvirtova said. "She gets so many balls back. Just keep pushing, keep pushing until I get the point."
A former junior No.2, Fruhvirtova began to make waves last season. She made the Round of 16 in Miami with wins over Danka Kovinic, Elise Mertens and Victoria Azarenka.
By the end of the season, she had captured her first Hologic WTA Tour title, on the hard courts of Chennai, to become the youngest woman in the Top 100. In Melbourne, she is one of two teens into the second week, joining 18-year-old Gauff.
"I would say it's pretty on target," Fruhvirtova said. "I knew I had the level to compete against these kind of players on this high level, but it's always harder to show it than in the matches, to win these kind of matches 'cause I think the women's level, all the players are very tight. I think top hundred, anybody can beat anybody. It's very close.
"It's good because you don't get that many opportunities in these matches against top players. When you have the opportunity, you just got to take it or you lose. I'm just trying to take every chance I get and use it and just try my best, fight for it, go for it."
Fruhvirtova will face Croatia's Donna Vekic next. Fruhvirtova is bidding to become the youngest woman to reach the Australian Open quarterfinals since Martina Hingis won the title in 1998.