World number five Elina Svitolina has become the latest seeded player to bute the dust in what seems to be a cursed third round of the women’s singles event at the ongoing Australian Open. Svitolina lost 6-1, 6-2 to two-time Major winner Garbine Muguruza at the Rod Laver Arena on Saturday.
Former world number one Muruguza outrightly dominated Svitolina as she took the first set in 23 minutes while conceding just 12 points in the first seven games. In the final set, she saved two break points during her serve en route to the victory against Svitolina, a quarterfinalist in Melbourne last year and semifinalist at the Wimbledon and US Open in 2019.
Svitolina becomes the sixth player among the top 10 seeds to be ousted from this year’s first Major before the pre-quarters. She follows world number two Karolina Pliskova, number three and defending champion Naomi Osaka, number four Simona Halep, number six Belinda Bencic and number eight and 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams.
While Serena and Osaka were ousted on Friday, Pliskova and Bencic lost their respective third-round matches earlier on Saturday.
A semifinalist in Melbourne last year, Pliskova lost 7-6 (4), 7-6 (3) to 30th seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in a grueling contest of almost two and a half hours.
Sixth seed Belinda Bencic, who was a semifinalist in the US Open last year, trod the same path as she suffered a major embarrassment of 6-0, 6-1 at the hands of Anett Kontaveit at the Margaret Court Arena.
Meanwhile, 2018 finalist Halep and 2016 Australian Open champion Angelique Kerber kept away from the losing trend. Halep won her third-round match in straight sets at the Rod Laver Arena. She defeated Yulia Putintseva 6-1, 6-4 to qualify for the Round of 16.
Kerber, on the other hand, won 6-2, 6-7 (4), 6-3 over Camila Giorgi to move to the fourth round in Melbourne for the fifth straight year.