MELBOURNE, Australia — Aryna Sabalenka improved her winning streak to six as she beat American Shelby Rogers 6-3, 6-1 on Thursday to reach the third round of the Australian Open.
The No. 5-seeded Sabalenka, who began the year by winning the title in Adelaide, trailed the American 3-1 early in the match but won five straight games to take the opening set and then eased through the second.
“I expected a great level from her today, that’s why I stayed focused from the beginning to the end,” Sabalenka said.
Sabalenka will play either Elise Mertens, the No. 26-seeded player, or Lauren Davis in the third round.
No. 9-seeded Veronika Kudermetova was upset, ousted 6-4, 2-6, 6-2 by Katie Volnyets, a 21-year-old qualifier from the United States.
“I literally have the chills because the fans here are just incredible,” said Volnyets, who is through to the third round of a Grand Slam event for the first time. “I’ve never played in a stadium this packed and with that many people keeping the energy up for me. It was awesome.”
Taylor Townsend bowed out, the American beaten 1-6, 6-2, 6-3 by No. 19 Ekaterina Alexandrova.
On the men’s side, No 25-seeded Dan Evans was an early winner, beating Jeremy Chardy of France 6-4, 6-4, 6-1 to reach the third round for the third successive year.
The news on the men’s side still oscillated around the absence of Rafael Nadal, who was beaten on Wednesday after losing a battle with an injured hip.