2020 Australian Open Day 6: Karolina Pliskova latest to fall in third round, Nick Kyrgios battles through

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Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova celebrates after a victory against Czech Republic's Karolina Pliskova during their women's singles match on day six of the Australian Open. (Photo by Manan Vatsyayana/AFP/Getty Images)
Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova celebrates after a victory against Czech Republic's Karolina Pliskova during their women's singles match on day six of the Australian Open. (Photo by Manan Vatsyayana/AFP/Getty Images)

This post will be updated with action from Day 6 of the Australian Open in Melbourne.

Pliskova upset by Pavlyuchenkova

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It took nearly two and a half hours, but Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova pulled off perhaps the biggest upset of the Australian Open so far on Saturday at Rod Laver Arena. 

Pavlyuchenkova, the No. 30 seed, knocked off No. 2 Karolina Pliskova 7-6 (4), 7-6 (3) to advance to the fourth round of the first Grand Slam of the season. It marked her first win against Pliskova in seven attempts.

“I even had goosebumps after some points, “ Pavlyuchenkova said, via the Associated Press. “And to beat Karolina for the first time, it’s amazing.”

Pavlyuchenkova nearly ran away with each set, too, jumping up to a 4-1 lead in the first and a 2-0 lead in the second. While Pliskova forced a tiebreak in each, Pavlyuchenkova held strong to take the match.

Pliskova is the latest notable top seed to fall in the third round of the tournament, joining both defending champion Naomi Osaka — who fell to 15-year-old Coco Gauff — and No. 8 Serena Williams — who lost to China’s Qiang Wang.

With the win, Pavlyuchenkova will take on No. 17 Angelique Kerber in the fourth round. Kerber beat Italy’s Camila Giorgi 6-2, 6-7 (4), 6-3 in her third-round match at Margaret Court Arena.

“It was a tough battle,” Kerber said, via the Associated Press. “It’s great to be in the second week in Melbourne again. It’s still a long way.”

Svitolina falls to Muguruza

The upsets just keep on coming, at least on the women’s side. No. 5 Elina Svitolina was taken down in straight sets by Spain’s Garbiñe Muguruza, who is unranked at the Australian Open. Muguruza won 6-1, 6-2 in a match that lasted just over an hour.

Muguruza is fighting a virus, but you couldn’t tell during the match. She outhit Svitolina from the beginning, winning the first set in a stunning 23 minutes. It looked like Svitolina might find a way to come back in the second set, grinding out a 10-minute fifth game in which she fought off five break points, but she was too far behind to take the comeback all the way.

“We always have good matches so I was really looking forward to playing [Svitolina],” Muguruza said after the match. “It's definitely a good sign for me when you don't feel good and you manage to win matches and compete. Even if you're not feeling great, there's always a chance there. You just have to find your way.”

This is the fourth time Muguruza has taken Svitolina out in a major competition.

Kyrgios battles past Khachanov

Australia’s Nick Kyrgios played a thriller of a third-round match, which ended in the No. 23 seed beating No. 16 Karen Khachanov 6-2, 7-6 (5), 6-7 (6), 6-7 (7), 7-6 (10-8). As you can see from the score, it was a roller coaster from beginning to end.

Kyrgios seemed to be cruising to a victory after taking the first two sets, even with the left glute injury he suffered in the first set. But in true Kyrgios form, it wasn’t going to be that easy. The third set went to a tiebreaker, and while Kyrgios hit some excellent shots, he also missed some easy ones from Khachanov. When Khachanov took the tiebreaker and the set, it was time to buckle in.

Kyrgios almost took the fourth set, which also went to a tiebreaker, but Kyrgios just couldn’t get ahead for long enough to finish it up. The fifth set was as evenly matched as the others, and a fourth tiebreak was needed to decide the winner. Just like at the beginning of the match, Kyrgios looked poised to take it. He scored the first three points, but then dropped the next four. They battled to 8-8, and Kyrgios was able to force himself over the top after an unforced error by Khachanov.

After four hours and 26 minutes, Kyrgios was able to celebrate his win in front of a home crowd.

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