The third round of the 2022 Australian Open was completed with play on the bottom half of the women's draw.
Sabalenka overcame ten double faults to rally from a set down for the third time in the tournament, defeating 31st seed Marketa Vondrousova 4-6, 6-3, 6-1.
After dropping the opening set, the Belarusian broke early in the second for a 2-0 lead, winning 20 of 22 first-serve points in the set. She dominated the third to reach the final 16 for the second year running at Melbourne Park.
"Yeah, i'm really happy right now", she said. "The atmosphere was unbelievable today. She played unbelievable tennis. I pushed myself really hard and i'm really happy with this win."
Halep and Swiatek remain on a collison course for the semifinals with the Romanian, a finalist in 2019, dismantling Danka Kovinic 6-2, 6-1 and the Pole dominating 25th seed Daria Kasatkina 6-2, 6-3.
"That second week stat, i'm really proud of it right now that I achieved it, but in the morning, I would say it gave me a little bit more pressure", Swiatek said.
"I'm aware of (that stat) and that gave me a little bit of doubt before the match. I wanted to do at least the same result I did in previous years."
Pavlyuchenkova was knocked off by Sorana Cirstea, who reached the fourth round here for the first time since 2017, 6-3, 3-6, 6-2. 26th seed Danielle Collins also needed three sets to advance past Clara Tauson 4-6, 6-4, 7-5.
Finally, Kaia Kanepi rallied from a set down to blow past Australian wild card Maddison Inglis in the final two sets, winning 2-6, 6-2, 6-0.