Australian Open: Iga Swiatek, Aryna Sabalenka through to third round in contrasting fashion

Aryna Sabalenka and Iga Swiatek both booked their safe passage into the third round of the Australian Open, but in different manners.

Iga Swiatek in action at Australian Open. (Twitter: @iga_swiatek)

Aryna Sabalenka and Iga Swiatek both booked their safe passage into the third round of the Australian Open. However, both the seeded competitors did so in very different manners.

Whereas Swiatek cruised to a 6-2, 6-2, win over Sweden’s Rebecca Peterson, Sabalenka fought back hard to register a 1-6, 6-4, 6-2 victory over Xinyu Wang.

It was a good day in the office for Swiatek, who made a quick start to the match. She won eight of the first 10 points as well as the first four games.

She followed this up by winning five straight games en route to wrapping up the match in the second set. As far as good days in the office, this ticked all boxes.

And Swiatek credited her quick start as key to her registering the eventual victory. “Just starting the match with confidence was pretty important for me,” Swiatek said after the match.

“I felt like I was dominating from the beginning, and after getting a couple of breaks, it was much easier to go forward. That was the key, basically.

“I was ready for everything. But I knew she’s going to play probably heavy forehand, a lot of topspin.

I didn’t want to let her play her game on the forehand, so basically I knew that if we were going to, for example, play backhand cross-court, I’m going to have more [of an] advantage.

“Going forehand on forehand, it may be pretty equal. I just knew this kind of stuff. But my coach wanted me to kind of have a game plan on every point, so we weren’t talking really specifically about every aspect of the game. It was more like [an] overall idea.”

Swiatek will next face world number 25 Daria Kasatkina. She eased to a 6-2, 6-3 win over Swiatek’s compatriot Magda Linette.

Sabalenka trudges on in Australian Open

For Sabalenka, however, it was yet another struggle. Her first round victory also saw her drop a set and it was no different this time around.

The first set saw her serve up a whopping 12 double faults as she lost the set 6-1. But she dug deep and found the resolve needed to mount a comeback.

The second and third sets saw her improve significantly. She would only drop her serve once in the following two sets and improved on her double fault count too.

The positive for the Belarusian is that she’s shown plenty of fight so far in the tournament. The negative is that not every competitor – especially in the latter stages of the Slam – will give her the chance to come back on account of a slow start.

Sportslumo Desk

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