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Australian Open: Former semi-finalist Pliskova back into second week after four years

The Czech will face the winner of the match between Chinese Shuai Zhang, the No 23 seed, and American qualifier Katie Volynets in the next round

Karolina Pliskova at the 2023 Australian Open Karolina Pliskova at the 2023 Australian Open
Australian Open •Third round • completed
See draw

Czech Karolina Pliskova, the No 30 seed, advanced to the fourth round of the Australian Open by beating Russian Varvara Gracheva in straight sets at Melbourne Park on Saturday.

Pliskova, a former world No 1 and a semi-finalist here in 2019, won 6-4, 6-2 in one hour and 17 minutes to reach the second week for the first time since 2019. The Czech reached back-to-back quarter-finals in Melbourne in 2017 and 2018 and then reached the semis in 2019 before third round exits in 2020 and 2021 and missing the 2022 edition.

“Last couple years were tough”- Pliskova excited to be back in the mix of things

Pliskova, ranked No 31 in the world, will play the winner of the match between Chinese Shuai Zhang, the No 23 seed, and American qualifier Katie Volynets next.

 “Last couple years were tough, especially missing it last year. I think the conditions here, they can be quite good for me,” Pliskova said after her win. “I’ve been playing quite well early in this year. So excited to be here, just enjoying, happy to be back on the center court with two-sets victory.”

Earlier in the tournament, the Czech, a two-time Grand Slam finalist and chasing her first Major title, beat Chinese Xiyu Wang (6-1, 6-3) and Kazakh Yulia Putintseva (6-0, 7-5) while Gracheva, ranked No 97, defeated No 8 seed Daria Kasatkina (6-1, 6-1) and Italian qualifier Lucrezia Stefanini (6-3, 6-1) in the previous rounds.

Australian Open (Grand Slam), other third-round results (Melbourne Park, hard, USD 24,297,942, most recent results first):

  • Magda Linette vs. Ekaterina Alexandrova
  • Laura Siegemund vs. Caroline Garcia
  • Linda Fruhvirtova vs. Marketa Vondrousova
  • Aryna Sabalenka vs. Elise Mertens
  • Shuai Zhang vs. Katie Volynets
  • Camila Giorgi vs. Belinda Bencic
  • Donna Vekic beat Nuria Parrizas Diaz: 6-2, 6-2
  • Lin Zhu beat Maria Sakkari (6): 7-6 (3), 1-6, 6-4
  • Victoria Azarenka (24) beat Madison Keys (10): 1-6, 6-2, 6-1
  • Iga Swiatek (1) beat Cristina Bucsa (Q): 6-0, 6-1
  • Jelena Ostapenko (17) beat Kateryna Baindl: 6-3, 6-0
  • Coco Gauff (7) beat Bernarda Pera: 6-3, 6-2
  • Jessica Pegula (3) beat Marta Kostyuk: 6-0, 6-2
  • Elena Rybakina (22) beat Danielle Collins (13): 6-2, 5-7, 6-2
  • Barbora Krejcikova (20) beat Anhelina Kalinina: 6-2, 6-3
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