Australian Open Day 6: Karolina Pliskova latest to fall in third round

Ross Houston
January 25, 2020

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova - the Russian snapped a run of six straight defeats to Karolina Pliskova to send the world No.2 crashing out in the third round with a shock 7-6 (7-4) 7-6 (7-3) victory.

It took almost two and a half hours, but Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova pulled off perhaps the biggest upset of the Australian Open so far on Saturday at Rod Laver Arena.

"I even had goosebumps after some points, " Pavlyuchenkova said, via the Associated Press.

The Czech levelled for 4-all but couldn't maintain momentum, squandering no less than five break opportunities that would have put her 6-5 ahead and in the lead for the first time.

Pliskova won this month's WTA Brisbane title, beating Osaka on the way, but she was always under pressure against 30th seed Pavlyuchenkova in hot conditions on the Melbourne centre court.

But fourth-seeded Wimbledon champion Simona Halep joined world No.1 Ashleigh Barty in the second week with a 6-1 6-3 rout of Yulia Putintseva.

Pavlyuchenkova won the junior title at Melbourne Park more than a decade ago and said she was using that as motivation this time. In the tiebreak, it was Pavlyuchenkova who had to overcome a 0-2 deficit, finally clinching a marathon 75-minute opener when Pliskova put a limp forehand in the net.

Pavlyuchenkova almost ran away with each set, too, jumping up to a 4-1 lead in the first and a 2-0 lead in the second.

After tallying 51 winners and 43 unforced errors in two hours, 25 minutes, Pavlyuchenkova will face 2016 champion and three-time slam victor Angelique Kerber in the last 16.

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