Unseeded & Unfazed, Melbourne Day 3: Suarez Navarro, Goerges impress

Unseeded & Unfazed, Melbourne Day 3: Suarez Navarro, Goerges impress

Playing her final Australian Open, the Spaniard ousted No. 11 seed Aryna Sabalenka, while the former Wimbledon semifinalist battled past No. 13 seed Petra Martic on Wednesday.

This trio of WTA unseeded veterans delivered in the moments that mattered to advance on Day 3 of the Australian Open Wednesday in Melbourne.


Carla Suarez Navarro d. [11] Aryna Sabalenka

Announcing in early December that 2020 would be her final year on tour, Suarez Navarro is making her final Melbourne appearance count. A two-time former quarterfinalist, the crafty 31-year-old, now ranked No. 54, found herself facing a polar-opposite competitor in Sabalenka. Capable of hitting the ball harder than anyone, the No. 11 seed was hoping these two weeks would deliver her major moment after bowing out in the first week at all four Slams in 2019. Unfortunately for the Belarusian, her wait will endure after committing 58 unforced errors (to 32 winners). Sabalenka hit 13 unforced in the two tiebreakers alone, essentially serving both up for her opponent to seize. Suarez Navarro had her fair share of miscues, but did save a set point in the second set breaker before completing the 7-6 (6), 7-6 (6) win.

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Julia Goerges d. [13] Petra Martic

This clash of two veterans was circled as one to watch coming in, and it didn’t disappoint. Martic enjoyed a career year in 2019, winning her first WTA title and reaching her first Slam quarterfinal at Roland Garros, where she stunned Rome champion Karolina Pliskova. Goerges slid backwards after making her Top 10 debut, failing to defend her Wimbledon semifinal points—though did enjoy a strong season end, advancing to the round of 16 at the US Open and Luxembourg final. After seeing her 4-2 lead evaporate in the deciding set, Goerges was two points from exiting, but stood her ground to win 10 of the final 12 points. The German, who rallied to win 4-6, 6-3, 7-5, finished with 13 aces to notch her second straight win over Martic (2019 Birmingham semifinals) and will battle American Alison Riske in her next match.

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Caroline Wozniacki d. [23] Dayana Yastremska

The 2018 champion put on a vintage display of the brand of tennis that catapulted her to No. 1. Needing to defend not only her side of the court, but her final opportunity to add another title to her resume, Wozniacki quickly found herself down 1-5 against the free-swinging Ukrainian. As she’s demonstrated so many times throughout her career, Wozniacki took Yastremska’s start for what it was, dug in, and soon snatched the momentum. The 19-year-old took a medical timeout when she was a game from going out in the second set, and though she refused to go away by saving five match points, finally went down, 7-5, 7-5. Wozniacki’s retirement is pushed back for two more days and she’ll aim to delay it further when she meets Ons Jabeur for a round of 16 berth.

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