Teenager Linda Fruhvirtova underlined the health of Czech tennis as she marched into the Australian Open fourth round on Saturday with a brave 7-5, 2-6, 6-3 win over compatriot Marketa Vondrousova.
The youngest woman left in the draw at 17 years and 273 days, Fruhvirtova showed extraordinary composure in only her second main draw appearance at a Grand Slam to rally from 3-1 down in the decider and upset a decorated opponent.
“It feels pretty surreal. It’s an incredible feeling,” said Fruhvirtova, who will play unseeded Croatian Donna Vekic for a place in the quarterfinals.
“I mean, I’m still 17. I’m through to the second week, last 16 in such a big tournament.”
Vondrousova has struggled to replicate the form that helped her reach the 2019 Roland Garros final but the 23-year-old had looked set for a deep run in Melbourne after dumping out second seed Ons Jabeur in the previous round.
Fruhvirtova, who won her first WTA title in Chennai in September and rocketed into the top 100, had other plans, however, and held her nerve in the third set to continue her rapid rise.
“I knew I had the level to compete against these kind of players on this high level, but it’s always harder to show it in the matches, to win these kind of matches because I think the women’s level, all the players are very tight,” she said.
“I think (in the) top hundred anybody can beat anybody. It’s very close.”
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