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Tuesday June 15th, 2021 6:51AM

The Latest: Breakthrough win by American Pegula in Melbourne

By The Associated Press
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MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — The Latest from the Australian Open (all times local):

1:40 p.m.

Unseeded American Jessica Pegula has advanced to the fourth round at a Grand Slam tournament for the first time by beating Kristina Mladenovic 6-2, 6-1 at the Australian Open.

Pegula, who is ranked 61st, lost the first six points but then began to dominate with her versatile game. She hit 21 winners to just 13 unforced errors and won eight points at the net.

The previous best showing at a Grand Slam by the 26-year-old native of Buffalo, New York, was a run to the third round at last year’s U.S. Open. Pegula will next play No. 5-seeded Elina Svitolina, who beat No. 26 Yulia Putintseva, 6-4, 6-0.

No. 6 Karolina Pliskova blew a 5-0 lead in the second set and lost to No. 25 Karolina Muchova 7-5, 7-5.

___

11:40 a.m.

Day six is underway at the Australian Open, this time without fans.

The Victoria state government on Friday announced a five-day lockdown in response to a COVID-19 outbreak at a hotel. Up to 30,000 fans daily — 50% of capacity — had been admitted for earlier sessions.

Former No. 1 Karolina Pliskova faced Karolina Muchova in the first match in Rod Laver Arena.

Top-seeded Ash Barty of Australia was to play a night match Saturday against No. 29 Ekaterina Alexandrova. Three American women were on the schedule — No. 22 Jennifer Brady and two unseeded players, Jessica Pegula and Shelby Rogers

No. 2-seeded Rafael Nadal was to continue his quest for a men’s-record 21st major title Saturday night against Cameron Norrie. Other men in third-round action Saturday included No. 4 Daniil Medvedev, No. 5 Stefanos Tsitsipas, No. 7 Andrey Rublev, No. 9 Matteo Berrettini and the last American on the men’s side, unseeded Mackenzie McDonald.

___

More AP tennis: https://apnews.com/hub/tennis and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Tennis, AP Sports - Men's Tennis
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