Australian Open: Barbora Strycova strides into the second week with straight sets win over Caroline Garcia
Strycova all smiles as she makes her way into the fourth round | Photo: Theo Karanikos/Tennis Australia

Australian Open: Barbora Strycova strides into the second week with straight sets win over Caroline Garcia

The Czech raced through the first set and despite a slight wobble late on managed to wrap up the victory in straight sets to advance to the fourth round.

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Pavitra Ganesan

16th seed Barbora Strycova was up against 21st seed Caroline Garcia for a spot in the fourth round. The pair has met six times before with the results favoring the Czech 5-1. For Strycova, it was a chance to equal last year’s result here while Garcia was looking to make it to the fourth round for the first time in a Grand Slam.

However, it was a poor start from the Frenchwoman who never really got it going while Strycova played some solid tennis to take the first set. Garcia showed some grit late on but could not force a decider as Strycova finished strongly for a  6-1, 7-5 win extending her record over the Frenchwoman.

Strycova sails through the first set

Garcia did not have the best of starts making errors and handing the early break to the Czech. Strycova looking the more settled of the two calmly consolidated the break for a 2-0 lead. The Frenchwoman eventually managed to shrug off the poor game to get herself on board.

Strycova in control in the early stages | Photo: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images
Strycova in control in the early stages | Photo: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

However, Garcia was still looking far from her best as her error count continued creeping up. Strycova, on the other hand, was easing through her service games with barely any fuss and showed great court coverage. The Czech took advantage of the Frenchwoman’s errors and got the double break. Strycova with yet another comfortable hold of serve to further extend her lead to 5-1. The Czech seemed to feel the pressure while serving for the set at 5-2 as she was pushed to deuce for the first time in the set, but was remained composed to see out the set 6-2.

Strycova in command takes the first set | Photo: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images
Strycova in command takes the first set | Photo: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

Garcia steps it up but fades away towards the end

It was a fairly tight set as the first few games went on serve. Garcia was in danger of going down an early break yet again but put in a good serve before evading the danger. The Frenchwoman was much more aggressive in the second set looking to pounce on Strycova’s second serves and was finding success.

She reaped the rewards in the eighth game after a rare error from the Czech handed a break point to the Frenchwoman. Strycova fended off the first challenge she faced all match forcing the error from Garcia. The Frenchwoman though followed it up with a brilliant smash before firing a forehand winner to go 5-3 up.

Garcia finds the breakthrough | Photo: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images
Garcia finds the breakthrough | Photo: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

Garcia had a couple of set points on her own serve but it all started to fall apart for the Frenchwoman from there on. Not only did she fail to serve out the set, she barely won any points. The Czech broke her serve and stepped up her own game consolidating to love to level for 5-5. The momentum shift was telling and Garcia faded away as Strycova won her 12th straight point to break once more and eventually won 16 of 17 points on offer since Garcia’s set points to seal the victory.

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