MELBOURNE (AFP) – Denmark's top seeded Caroline Wozniacki moved into the quarter-finals of the Australian Open with a 6-3, 6-4 win over unseeded Latvian Anastasija Sevastova while in men's draw, Serbia's Novak Djokovic powered past Spain's Nicolas Almagro, also in straight-sets.
It is the first time the 20-year-old world number one Wozniacki has progressed past the fourth round in Melbourne and keeps alive her hopes of winning a maiden Grand Slam title.
Wozniacki failed to dominate her unheralded opponent and struggled to hold serve throughout their Sunday's 80-minute encounter.
|Caroline Wozniacki celebrates victory in her against Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia on January 23. AFP|
However she prayed on Sevastova's mistakes while hardly making any of her own, committing just 14 unforced errors to the Latvian's 36 over the two sets.
"Anastasija's a tough opponent -- she mixes her game up so well," Wozniacki said.
"She can play hard and then slows the ball down and it makes it hard to play against her."
Wozniacki has had to answer questions all week about the legitimacy of her world number one ranking after she reached the pinnacle without having won a Grand Slam.
But she has now won all four matches in Melbourne without dropping a set.
She next takes on either dual Grand Slam winner Svetlana Kuznetsova or reigning French Open champion Francesca Schiavone in the quarter-finals.
Novak Djokovic produced a scintillating performance to power into the quarter-finals with a straight-sets demolition of Spain's Nicolas Almagro.
The Serbian third seed stepped up his level to easily get past the Spanish 14th seed, 6-3, 6-4, 6-0 in 1hr 44min on a sweltering day at Hisense Arena.
Djokovic, who won the Australian title three years ago, will now take on either Czech sixth seed Tomas Berdych or ninth seed Fernando Verdasco of Spain in Tuesday's quarters.
He leads Berdych 4-1 and Verdasco 5-4 in previous meetings.
It is Djokovic's fourth straight Australian Open quarter-final and he has now reached the quarter-finals or better at 14 of his last 16 Grand Slam events.
"That was a higher standard than my previous matches and it's a big positive for me heading into the quarter-finals," Djokovic said.
Djokovic picked up a code violation in the third game of the second set for what the chair umpire said was making a signal, possibly to his coach.
When Djokovic approached the umpire to challenge his ruling he was heard to ask why he wasn't given a prior warning instead.
It was an impressive performance by Djokovic with five service breaks of the big-serving Spaniard along with 31 outright winners, offset by 17 errors.
His service game was on song with 12 aces, a 75 first-serve percentage and he cleaned up 86 percent of the first service points.
Djokovic swept through Almagro to love in the final set to seal a terrific performance as he heads into the second week of the season-opening major.