After surviving a major threat by Tamara Zidansek in the first round, second seed Ons Jabeur had no resources to progress further and Marketa Vondrousova stopped her in the second round of the 2023 Australian Open, 6-1 5-7 6-1.
Knowing how hard it was for Jabeur to advance to the second round, when Vondrousova dominated her in the first set, it looked like the Tunisian’s Melbourne campaign would soon be over. However, Jabeur delivered in the second set. Even though Vondrousova twice recovered from a break down and the set was leveled at 5-5, Jabeur managed to pull off a love break in the twelfth game and force a deciding set.
In the third set, former Nike representative Vondrousova raced to a 5-0 lead and served for victory. The Czech, who got married last year and changed her last name to Simkova, didn’t capitalize on that opportunity, but she finished the job in the following game on her second match point as Jabeur sent a forehand long.
In the third round, the 2019 French Open finalist Vondrousova will face 17-year-old compatriot Linda Fruhvirtova.
Earlier on Thursday, fifth seed and reigning Adelaide International 1 champion Aryna Sabalenka eased past Shelby Rogers 6-3 6-1 to book a third-round meeting with her former regular doubles partner, No.26 seed Elise Mertens.
Last week’s Adelaide International 2 champion Belinda Bencic has improved to 7-1 in 2023 after recovering from 2-5 down in the first set and saving two set points to beat Claire Liu 7-6(3) 6-3 and reach the third round in Melbourne. Camila Giorgi, today’s winner over Anna Karolina Schmiedlova, will be Bencic’s next opponent.
Fourth seed Caroline Garcia fought hard to beat 2021 US Open finalist Leylah Fernandez 7-6(5) 7-5 in the second round. The Frenchwoman’s next obstacle will be Laura Siegemund, who fought for three hours and 12 minutes to defeat seed No.27 Irina-Camelia Begu 5-7 7-5 6-3.
Ninth seed Veronika Kudermetova was the highest seed to fall on Day 4, losing 6-4 2-6 6-2 to American 21-year-old qualifier Katie Volynets who has now won consecutive Tour-level matches for the first time in her career.
Seed No.16 Anett Kontaveit was defeated by Poland’s Magda Linette 3-6 6-3 6-4 in the second round. Donna Vekic needed just 66 minutes to dispatch seed No.18 Liudmila Samsonova 6-3 6-0.