Sloane Stephens wasted no time in making it to the third round while Kiki Bertens was sent packing in round two of the 2019 Australian Open on Wednesday.
The American fifth seeded Stephens, who has never got past the round one since the 2014 edition of the Australian Open, wasted no time in disposing off Timea Babos. She won 6-3, 6-1 in an hour and 35 minutes.
Stephens had 23 break-points in the entire match but managed to convert only five of them. That, however, was more than enough for her to clinch the match against her former junior doubles partner.
She said of Babos after the match:
“We were friends when we played juniors, we practised together and stuff, but I don’t know how that came to pass.”
The 2013 semi-finalist at the Australian Open, will now take on the 31st seed Petra Martic. Martic was a 6-4, 7-5 winner over Marketa Vondrousova in their second round match after having sent Heather Watson packing earlier.
The ninth seeded Bertens, however, did not have similar luck as she went out in round two to Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. Bertens lost 3-6, 6-3, 6-3.
That result also eases Stephens’ path to the quarter-final as Bertens was expected to be her fourth round opponent.
Pavlyuchenkova will now face Aliaksandra Sasnovich in her third round after the latter stunned the 20th seeded Anna Kontaveit in her second round encounter.
In some of the other matches played so far in the women’s section of the draw, 15th seeded Ash Barty defeated Wang Yafan in straight sets to set up a third round match against Maria Sakkari of Greece. Sakkari dropped five games in her win over Aussie qualifier Astra Sharma.