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Daughter of Bills, Sabres owners into 1st Slam quarterfinal

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) – Jessica Pegula‘s first victory over a Top 10 opponent earned the 25-year-old American her first journey to the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam match.

The 61st-ranked Pegula, whose mother and father personal Buffalo’s NFL and NHL franchises, held on to beat No. 5 seed Elina Svitolina of Ukraine 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 in Rod Laver Arena on Monday (Sunday evening EST).

Pegula is on fairly a breakthrough run. She has gained 4 matches at Melbourne Park over the previous week – together with victories over two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka and 2011 U.S. Open champion Sam Stosur – after coming into the hard-court match with a complete of three wins at majors for her profession.

Also important for Pegula, who works with Venus Williams’ former coach, David Witt: She got here into the day with an 0-6 file in opposition to Top 10 ladies.

In males’s motion, No. 4 seed Daniil Medvedev bought to the quarterfinals at Melbourne Park for the primary time by eliminating 192nd-ranked American Mackenzie McDonald 6-4, 6-2, 6-3 in 1 1/2 hours. Medvedev, the 2019 U.S. Open runner-up, will play Andrey Rublev or Casper Ruud subsequent.

Also on Monday’s schedule: 20-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal in opposition to No. 16 Fabio Fognini.

With the sky blue and the temperature within the low 70s Fahrenheit (low 20s Celsius), and no followers within the stands for the third day in a row as a result of of an area COVID-19 lockdown, Pegula dictated groundstroke exchanges from proper alongside the baseline.

In the early going, she pushed round two-time Grand Slam semifinalist Svitolina, who eradicated American teenager Coco Gauff within the second spherical, and went up by a set and a break at 1-0 within the second.

Up till then, Pegula had not been damaged.

But that’s the place Svitolina, all the pieces slipping away, made a stand. She instantly broke Pegula twice in a row, part of a four-game run that put Svitolina ahead 4-1 in the second on the way to forcing a third set.

As if flipping a switch, or remembering what worked so well earlier, Pegula returned to her more aggressive brand of hit-to-the-corners play and led 4-1. She did get broken to 4-3, but broke right back, then served out the most important victory of her career by grabbing the last four points after falling behind love-30.

Pegula plays the winner of the match that followed in Rod Laver Arena: No. 22 Jennifer Brady of the United States vs. No. 28 Donna Vekic of Croatia.

The last two women’s fourth-round matches were No. 1 Ash Barty vs. unseeded American Shelby Rogers, and No. 18 Elise Mertens vs. Karolina Muchova.

___

More AP tennis: https://apnews.com/hub/tennis and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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