MELBOURNE, Australia — Fifth-seeded Aryna Sabalenka prolonged her win streak to seven matches as she beat Elise Mertens 6-2, 6-3 to achieve the fourth spherical of the Australian Open on Saturday.

The Belarusian participant hit 32 winners to beat Mertens, with whom she received the doubles title in Melbourne in 2021.

“It is actually robust to play towards her, she’s an important participant and is all the time combating,” Sabalenka mentioned.

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Sabalenka will now play Belinda Bencic after the Swiss participant reached the fourth spherical for the primary time since 2016, beating Camila Giorgi 6-2, 7-5 on Rod Laver Enviornment. The Twelfth-seeded Bencic was damaged when serving for the match at 5-4 however she broke serve within the following sport after which served out to like for victory.

“I am actually comfortable I received a second probability to serve it out,” she mentioned. “However total I feel it was an important match. [At 6-5] I simply tried to chill out. My coach [Dmitri Tursunov] was exhibiting me chill out [signals].”

Bencic received the warm-up occasion in Adelaide earlier than the Australian Open and has received eight matches in a row.

Former top-ranked Karolina Pliskova additionally reached the final 16 with a 6-4, 6-2 win over Varvara Gracheva. Pliskova, who final made the second week in Melbourne in 2019, didn’t face a break level.

“My serve, it may be a extremely good weapon,” she mentioned. “I am not doing as a lot operating from the baseline.”

Pliskova subsequent performs Shuai Zhang, who ended the run of American qualifier Katie Volynets 6-3, 6-2.

Donna Vekic superior to the fourth spherical for the second time in three years with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Nuria Parrizas Diaz of Spain.

Info from The Related Press was used on this report.

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