Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova served out the upset over No.11 seed Elina Svitolina, while CoCo Vandeweghe recovered from a late break to defeat Eugenie Bouchard in Melbourne.
WTA Staff

MELBOURNE, Australia - With stormy weather causing the roofs to be closed at the Australian Open No.24 seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and American CoCo Vandeweghe made it through the rain with thrilling victories over No.11 seed Elina Svitolina and former World No.5 Eugenie Bouchard, respectively.

Svitolina ended last season with a run to the final at the Huajin Securities WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai, and was shooting for a Top 10 debut Down Under. She certainly had reason to feel confident as play got underway on Margaret Court Arena, having won her most recent encounter against Pavlyuchenkova in straight sets.

But the 25-year-old Russian had other ideas, hitting 18 winners in the first set alone to move within three games of victory with a 3-1 lead in the second.

Undaunted, Svitolina won five of the next six games behind 15 winners of her own and appeared to have the momentum heading into the decider.

In the third round of the Australian Open for the third time in her career, Pavlyuchenkova steadied her nerve to move out to a 5-2 advantage, and survived a titanic final game to serve out the 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 victory in two hours and 31 minutes.

Pavlyuchenkova will play the winner of the third round match between Jelena Jankovic and No.8 seed Svetlana Kuznetsova.

Meanwhile on Rod Laver Arena, Vandeweghe and Bouchard gamely split the first two sets with one break each heading into the third. A semifinalist in Melbourne back in 2014, Bouchard was on course for a comeback victory as Vandeweghe lost serve in the opening game and fell behind 4-2.

The American would lose just one more game, evening out the set behind a pair of long games and broke for the win on a backhand down the line.

"It was kind of expected, in my mind, to get the win and to get the victory and to move a step closer to achieving what I want to achieve for this year and also this tournament," Vandeweghe said after the match.

"For me, if you go out on the court already thinking you're going to lose, you have already lost before you have taken a step out there and played the first point or started the warmup."

Cheering her on from the player's box was doubles partner and former World No.1 Martina Hingis.

"It's beneficial to have anyone behind you cheering you on. I think she is very invested in my results, because obviously I'm going to be happier when I go on the doubles court if I'm winning rather than losing.

"But she's a great person in that regard, too, where she will take the time out of her own day. She has no reason to be out there besides that she wants to be out there and wants to see me do well."

Bouchard was disappointed in defeat, but preferred to look at the positives of a solid Australian summer, one that saw her reach the semifinals at the Apia International Sydney.

"I haven't played so many matches in three weeks in a really long time, and especially against highly ranked players," the Canadian said in her post-match press conference. 

"It's kind of been two years of struggle, especially a lot the last half of last year. So, I think it's a very solid first step, this trip, probably better than I expected.

"I just have to get used to playing matches back to back against top players. That's something I haven't done in a while. Last time I went far in a tournament was, like, 2014."

Up next for Vandeweghe is either Kristyna Pliskova or World No.1 Angelique Kerber to start the second week.