Victoria Azarenka moves into fourth round, Garbine Muguruza is upset

Victoria Azarenka moves into fourth round, Garbine Muguruza is upset
Victoria Azarenka tracks down a shot during her third-round victory over Naomi Osaka on Saturday. (David Crosling / EPA)

Two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka walked on to Rod Laver Arena knowing that the No. 2- and No. 3-ranked players were already out of the tournament and that the draw appeared to be opening up in her favor.

She blinked at first, when Japanese qualifier Naomi Osaka broke her at love in the first game of their third-round match, before recovering quickly with a 6-1, 6-1 win in 56 minutes.


The 14th-seeded Azarenka, back in form after two injury-interrupted seasons, has dropped just five games in three matches at Melbourne Park after warming up with a title at the Brisbane International.

Azarenka had 24 winners to only four for Osaka, who was making her Grand Slam main draw debut.

"She's a little unpredictable and she surprised me with her game," said Azarenka, who signed off with a now-customary "dab" and discussion on dancing and music.

She will next play No. 48-ranked Barbora Strycova, who upset third-seeded Garbine Muguruza, 6-3, 6-2.

Milos Raonic dedicated his third-round victory, a 6-2, 6-3, 6-4 win over Viktor Troicki on Margaret Court Arena, to victims of a shooting in a remote community in Saskatchewan, Canada, which left four people dead and at least two injured.

The 25-year-old Canadian, his voice sounding emotional at times, told the crowd: "Today, before I stepped out on court it was a difficult day back home."

"I want to take a moment and give thoughts to that community. Today's victory was for that community, and a quick recovery and all of Canada, and I'm sure the world is behind you."

Raonic faces a tough fourth-rounder against Stan Wawrinka, the 2014 Australian and 2015 French Open champion, who advanced with a 6-2, 6-3, 7-6 (3) victory over Lukas Rosol.

No. 10-seeded John Isner fired 44 aces as he advanced with a 6-7 (8), 7-6 (5), 6-2, 6-4 win over Fernando Lopez.

No. 8-seeded David Ferrer defeated No.-31 seeded Steve Johnson, a former USC player, 6-1, 6-4, 6-4.

In the women's draw, Azarenka is one of three Australian Open champions remaining — six-time winner Serena Williams and 2008 winner Maria Sharapova are on the other half and could meet in the quarterfinals.

Muguruza's loss left No. 7 Angelique Kerber as the highest-ranked player in the bottom half of the women's draw. Kerber beat Madison Brengle, 6-1, 6-3, to move into a fourth-round match against fellow German Annika Beck and a potential quarterfinal with Azarenka.