Aryna Sabalenka continued her impressive run at the Australian Open going with a straightforward win over Belinda Bencic while the WTA Finals winner Caroline Garcia became the latest player to exit the tournament.
Sabalenka, who has firmly established herself as the favourite to lift this year’s trophy, turned in another dominant display against the Swiss at the Rod Laver Arena with a 7-5, 6-2 win despite going down an early break.
Bencic seemed to have the momentum on her side before Aryna Sabalenka restored her composure to blow her off the court. The 24-year-old has now won 8 straight matches this year and is yet to drop a game and finally looks to have fixed her errors in crucial moments of the game.
The Belarusian will now face Donna Vekić in the quarterfinals after the Croat defeated Linda Fruhvirtova 6-2, 1-6, 6-3.
Meanwhile, Caroline Garcia became the latest high-profile name to exit the women’s bracket following the departures of Iga Swiatek and Ons Jabeur.
The 29-year-old, who has enjoyed a late-career renaissance, was beaten 7-6, 6-4 by Magda Linette of Poland. Garcia raced to a 3-0 start and her win looked inevitable until the Pole fought back to win the first set tiebreak.
The second set was much of the same as Garcia’s errors mounted leading to an upset loss.
Magda Linette, meanwhile, set a date with Karolína Plíšková in the quarterfinals after the Czech eased past China’s Zhang Shuai 6-0, 6-4.