(January 19, 2022) No. 1 Ashleigh Barty and No. 13 Naomi appear to be headed on a collision course to meet in the fourth round of the Australian Open. Both women advanced on Wednesday.
Defending champion Osaka bested American Madison Brengle 6-0, 6-4. The woman from Japan lost only four points in the first set Osaka faces another American in the third round in Amanda Anisimova.
World No. 1 Barty needed only 52 minutes to beat 142nd-ranked qualifier Lucia Bronzetti 6-1, 6-1.
Barty did this on the inaugural First Nations Day at the Australian Open. The 25-year-old is of Native Australian heritage. “It was nice for me to be a part of it in a way that I feel most comfortable.”
“On a day we’re bringing cultures together, bringing people together … it was great for me to be able to play a small role doing what I love.”
No. 6 seed Rafael Nadal stopped German qualifier Yannick Hanfmann 6-2, 6-3, 6-4. Nadal is looking to capture his 21st major title which would put him in the lead over Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer.
“I said here before the tournament started, things are not going to be perfect, but every day that I’m going to spend on court, the chances to play better are higher,” he said. “After two matches is the moment to make a step forward. I’m excited about it.”
Other men advancing: No. 3 Alexander Zverev, No. 7 Matteo Berrettini, No. 14 Denis Shapovalov, No. 17 Gael Monfils and No. 23 Reilly Opelka.
Advancing in the women’s draw, Barbora Krejcikova, No. 26 Jelena Ostapenko, No. 5 Maria Sakkari, No. 8 Paula Badosa, No. 15 Elina Svitolina, No. 24 Victoria Azarenka and Elina Svitolina.