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Pegula ousts Sakkari; Krejcikova sets up QF clash vs Keys

Pegula had never beaten a top-10 player until she upset Elina Svitolina of Ukraine to win her fourth-round match in Melbourne last year.

Pegula ousts Sakkari; Krejcikova sets up QF clash vs Keys

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  24 Jan 2022 5:42 AM GMT

MELBOURNE, Jan 23: Jessica Pegula, the No.21 seed from the United States, secured a quarterfinal berth for the second consecutive year at the Australian Open defeating No.5 seed Maria Sakkari of Greece 7-6(0), 6-3, while compatriot Madison Keys cruised into her third career quarterfinal here with an assertive 6-3, 6-1 win over No.8 seed Paula Badosa of Spain.

Also, Czech Republic's Barbora Krejcikova, the 2021 French Open champion and No.4 seed here, defeated two-time Australian Open champion and No.24 seed Victoria Azarenka of Belarus 6-2, 6-2 to secure a quarterfinal berth. She will take on Keys for a place in the last-four.

Pegula had made a surprise run to her first Grand Slam quarterfinal in Melbourne last year as an unseeded player ranked world No.61. Having since broken into the top-20, the American matched her 2021 result with a one-hour and 35-minute victory over the eight-ranked Sakkari.

Pegula had never beaten a top-10 player until she upset Elina Svitolina of Ukraine to win her fourth-round match in Melbourne last year. By the end of 2021, she had seven top-10 wins.

Pegula, who earned her eighth career top-10 victory on Sunday, denied Sakkari a chance to become the first Greek woman to reach the AO quarters. Sakkari was also seeking her third Grand Slam quarterfinal appearance in the last four major events.

Keys dominated from start to finish in her 6-3, 6-1 win over No.8 seed Badosa, advancing to her eighth career Grand Slam quarterfinal and first in Australia since 2018. The Spaniard never led in the 69-minute-long contest.

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