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Defending Champ Kerber, Vandeweghe Advance in Melbourne

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Defending champion Angelique Kerber won the first eight games and went on to beat Kristyna Pliskova 6-0, 6-4 to advance to the fourth round.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 20: Coco Vandeweghe of the United States reacts in her third round match against Eugenie Bouchard of Canada on day five of the 2017 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 20, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 20: Coco Vandeweghe of the United States reacts in her third round match against Eugenie Bouchard of Canada on day five of the 2017 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 20, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

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Kerber, who beat Pliskova’s twin sister, Karolina, in the U.S. Open final last year, next plays American CoCo Vandeweghe, who beat former semifinalist Eugenie Bouchard earlier Friday.

American CoCo Vandeweghe is the first woman through to the fourth round at Melbourne Park, defeating former semifinalist Eugenie Bouchard 6-4, 3-6, 7-5.

Vandeweghe rallied from a break down in the third set and fought off four more break points at 4-all before closing out the match in 2 hours, 22 minutes. She reached the fourth round at the Australian Open for the first time.

Vandeweghe’s new doubles partner, Martina Hingis, cheered her on throughout the match. Afterward, the American joked that Hingis might scold her for playing “too long to be fresh for the doubles.”

The American is ranked higher than Bouchard, but the Canadian has been playing well and aiming to get back to the fourth round at a major for the first time since 2015.

Vandeweghe next plays top-seeded Kerber

Original author: Ashley Ndebele
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