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Jessica Pegula Arrives in Adelaide, Elise Mertens Advances in Tasmania

<p>The world number five Jessica Pegula overcame fortunate loser Bernarda Pera 4-6 6-2 6-3 on Wednesday to go to the Adelaide International quarterfinals.</p>
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<p>The Australian Open campaign of the second seed starts on Sunday. It took her two hours and twelve minutes to win the all-American match.</p>
<p>In the first set, Pegula struggled to adjust to Pera’s strong left-handed stroke play and only converted one of her ten break point opportunities.</p>
<p>However, she settled down to tie the match in the second set. down the third set, she took the lead with a break at 4-3, but she then saved five break chances for an important hold.</p>
<p>She defeated Pera with her sixth break in the next game, advancing her to a quarterfinal match on Thursday against either Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova or Katerina Siniakova.</p>
<p>“I didn’t really think there was much more I could do in the first set because (Pera) was hitting unbelievable shots,” Pegula said.</p>
<p>“I simply attempted to make a few adjustments, maintain my composure, and avoid becoming angry at her excellent tennis performance.” She’s pretty difficult all the time.</p>
<p>Top seed Elise Mertens overcame Anna Karolina Schmiedlova 6-2 6-3 in the Hobart International, another practice match before the Melbourne Park Grand Slam, to go to the quarterfinals.</p>
Ben Shelton, the top seed, defeated Hungary’s Fabian Marozsan 6-4, 6-3 on Wednesday to resume his preparations for the Australian Open after a string of losses.</p>
<p>In his first full season on tour in 2023, the American world number 16 made it to the Australian Open quarterfinals, the US Open last four, and his first ATP championship in Tokyo.</p>
<p>However, the 21-year-old’s season came to an end with first-round exits in Paris and Vienna, followed by another first-up defeat in Brisbane last week.</p>
<p>Shelton, who had gotten a first-round bye, said of his encounter against the world number 65: “It was definitely a tough match playing against Fabian.” Shelton finished in 71 minutes.</p>
<p>“I defeated him in a difficult match in a Challenger event the previous year. It’s awesome to play against him initially since he’s a fantastic player. Even though the contest was enjoyable, I’m glad we won.</p>
<p>Shelton, who hit ten aces, will play Spanish player Roberto Carballes Baena in the quarterfinals on Thursday. Baena defeated Austrian seventh seed Sebastian Ofner 7-5, 6-3, on Wednesday, and was one of numerous seeds who lost on Wednesday.</p>
<p>Eighth-seeded Australian Max Purcell fell 6-2, 6-4 to Japan’s Taro Daniel, while third-seeded Francisco Cerundolo of Argentina was destroyed 6-1, 6-1 by France’s Alexandre Muller.</p>
<p>Felix Auger-Aliassime, ranked fourth in Canada, fell to German Daniel Altmaier 7-6 (11/9), 7-5 in his first singles encounter of the year.</p>
<p>The Canadian player, who had only played one match in mixed doubles at the United Cup teams tournament in Sydney last week, was coming off a knee injury that prevented him from playing singles.</p>