Medvedev and Pliskova through to Australian Open third round

Melbourne - By Chiara Palazzo, - High seeds Karolina Pliskova and Daniil Medvedev sailed through to the Australian Open's third round with straight-sets wins on Thursday, as wind and rain caused delays of play on outside courts at Melbourne Park.

At Margaret Court Arena, men's fourth seed Medvedev made quick work of qualifier Pedro Martinez of Spain with a 7-5, 6-1, 6-3 win in just over two hours.
Other high seed Dominic Thiem appeared set for a breezy win as well against Australian wild card Alex Bolt, but had to go the distance after dropping the second and third sets, eventually defeating the local challenger 6-2, 5-7, 6-7 (5-7), 6-1, 6-2.
Women's second seed Pliskova made it to Melbourne's third round for a fourth consecutive time with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Germany's Laura Siegmund under the roof of Rod Laver Arena.
Seventh seed Alexander Zverev reached the third round of the Melbourne slam forthe fourth straight time with a 7-6, 6-4, 7-5 win over world number 98 Egor Gerasimov from Belarus.
Thiem was a set and a break up in the second set before Bolt broke back on 5-4 and won the following three games cheered on by a raucous crowd at Melbourne Arena. In the fourth set the Austrian turned things around, only dropping three games in the last two sets.
Meanwhile at Rod Laver, it took the Germany's Zverev over an hour and a half to break Gerasimov's serve in the second set.
He then managed the feat again early in the third but then failed to close the deal on his serve at 5-3, needing to break the Belarusian again to finish in two hours and 19 minutes.
Pliskova, who is seeking a first Grand Slam singles title, had an early scare as the German broke her serve in the first set, but won the next six games on her way to a fourth consecutive Melbourne third round.
"[I'm] just happy to be through because this was an ugly match for me ... hopefully I can feel a little bit better in the next round," Pliskova said after the win.
At Rod Laver, 2016 Melbourne champion Angelique Kerber also came back from an early break of serve to defeat Australian wild card Priscilla Hon 6-3, 6-2.
At Margaret Court Arena, sixth seed Belinda Bencic of Switzerland defeated 2017 Roland Garros champion Jelena Ostapenko 7-5, 7-5 in a match that saw 12 breaks of serve.
"It was a really tough match, I think Jelena is someone who likes to dictate points, so I didn't have much say in the rallies but I'm super happy I've fought them," the Swiss player said after the win.
Matches on outside courts saw considerable delays of play, some by as much as four hours, due to red dust left over from heavy rains overnight and a light shower in the early afternoon.
At 1573 Arena, where play started over three hours late, 20th seed Karolina Muchova of the Czech Republic fell to world number 600 Catherine Bellis 6-4, 6-4. 


Thursday, January 23rd 2020
By Chiara Palazzo,

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