Fourth seed Barbora Krejcikova saw off the challenge from an injury-hampered Victoria Azarenka to reach the Australian Open quarter-finals for the first time on Sunday, defeating the former world number one 6-2 6-2.
Azarenka, who won back-to-back titles at Melbourne Park in 2012 and 2013, received treatment to the left side of her neck and shoulder early in the second set and needed regular assistance from the trainer during changeovers.
French Open winner Krejcikova, who had lost their only previous meeting in 2020, did not let her 32-year-old opponent’s struggles affect her focus and sealed the victory on Rod Laver Arena when Azarenka found the net with a return.
“It was really amazing because she’s a champion here,” Krejcikova, who hit 23 winners and broke her opponent five times, said on court. “I have a lot of respect for her. I really admire her.
“I’m extremely happy I won today, doing everything to get this win. I was really preparing for this, actually for a dream like this to play on such a court and play a champion.
“I felt she was a favourite to the match. I was just enjoying the match and trying to play my best tennis.
“Wow, I’m in the quarter-finals.”
The Czech had never previously gone past the second round at the Australian Open. She will next meet Madison Keys after the former U.S. Open finalist defeated eighth-seeded Spaniard Paulo Badosa 6-3 6-1 earlier.