Australian Open: Wozniacki playing with house money as seeds fall

Caroline Wozniacki is through to the fourth round (Picture: AP)Caroline Wozniacki is through to the fourth round (Picture: AP)
Caroline Wozniacki is through to the fourth round (Picture: AP)
Caroline Wozniacki and Elina Svitolina avoided more drama to reach the fourth round of the Australian Open but French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko was knocked out by Anett Kontaveit.

The Latvian had her left thigh heavily strapped after losing the first set and, although she took the second comprehensively, it was Estonian Kontaveit who prevailed in the decider to win 6-3 1-6 6-3.

Ostapenko’s exit means there are only two former grand slam champions left in the draw in Maria Sharapova and Angelique Kerber, and they clash in the third round on Saturday.

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Second seed Wozniacki is the only player in the bottom half to have made a slam final before, and she stayed on course to emulate her two appearances in the US Open showpiece with a 6-4 6-3 victory over Kiki Bertens.

Wozniacki had to come back from 1-5, 15-40 in the deciding set against Jana Fett in the second round but stepped up her game and was a relatively comfortable winner against 30th seed Bertens.

The Dane, who did not wrap up victory until after midnight, said: “I’m playing with house money. I was already out of the tournament and on my way home. I got a second chance and I’m just going to see how far I can go.”

Wozniacki next plays 19th seed Magdalena Rybarikova, who battled to a 7-5 3-6 6-1 victory over Kateryna Bondarenko.

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Fourth seed Svitolina ended the run of her 15-year-old Ukrainian compatriot Marta Kostyuk with a 6-2 6-2 victory on Rod Laver Arena.

Kostyuk’s success, coming through qualifying and reaching the third round, has been one of the stories of the tournament but she found Svitolina too strong and too experienced.

Kostyuk was given a wild card into qualifying after winning the junior title 12 months ago and must now focus on working her way up the professional game from her current ranking of 521.

Asked how much she learned, Kostyuk said: “A lot. How much do you have to pay Svitolina to have a one-hour lesson? I got it for free.

“She’s a great player, but what I learned is that you can play against everyone. I had the chances, but because I thought she is incredible, like she’s a god.”

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