MELBOURNE, Australia — Two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka made it again to the quarterfinals at Melbourne Park for the primary time since 2016 by coming again to beat Zhu Lin 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 in a match that started late Sunday evening and ended at almost 2:20 a.m. on Monday.

The third set started with six consecutive breaks of serve, earlier than Zhu lastly was the primary to carry, taking a 4-3 lead.

However the Twenty fourth-seeded Azarenka grabbed the ultimate three video games. She held, then broke to go up 5-4 when Zhu put a forehand into the web.

Azarenka confronted two break factors whereas attempting to serve for the victory at 5-4. She managed to avoid wasting each and closed it out with a cross-court forehand winner after 2 hours, 40 minutes of play.

“I really feel so relieved,” Azarenka mentioned, mentioning the match’s fixed stress and momentum shifts.

The end result ends a career-best run for the 87th-ranked Zhu, who had misplaced within the first or second spherical in every of her earlier 13 Grand Slam appearances.

“I’ve by no means heard of her earlier than,” Azarenka mentioned. “I needed to modify on the go.”

The 33-year-old Azarenka gained the Australian Open in 2012 and 2013.

She is going to face No. 3 Jessica Pegula on Tuesday for a spot within the semifinals.

Pegula eradicated 2021 French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova 7-5, 6-2 on Sunday.

“Me and Jess, we’ve practiced collectively, we’ve performed so many nice matches collectively,” Azarenka mentioned.

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