MELBOURNE – On Monday Arina Sobolenko, who finished fifth, beat Belinda Bencic 7:5, 6:2 to reach the quarterfinals of the Australian Open for the first time. Bencic double faulted by losing the first set, allowing Sobalenko to take control from that point on.
No. 4 seed Caroline Garcia faced Magda Lynette later on Monday for another spot in the women’s quarterfinals. Garcia reached the semi-finals of the US Open last season but never reached the quarter-finals in Australia.
Iga Swiatek, who placed first, and Ons Jaber, who placed second, were eliminated, leaving third Jessica Pegula as the highest-ranked woman and advancing to the final eight.
“I am very happy with today’s victory,” Sobolenko said. “She (Bencic) is an incredible player. She played so well. I am very pleased with today’s level.”
Sobolenko said she worked hard to control her emotions during matches.
“It takes me a while to realize that negative emotions won’t help me on the court,” she said. “You just have to stay strong and believe no matter what.”
Sablenko also reported that her physical form had improved.
“We did a great job in the pre-season and I am very happy that everything is working now,” she said.
On Monday, Novak Djokovic faced Alex de Minor for a place in the men’s quarter-finals. Djokovic is aiming for a 10th Australian Open title and a 22nd Grand Slam title. A Grand Slam score will tie him to Rafael Nadal more than anyone else.
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