Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

No fans as Elina Svitolina advances at Australian Open

2021 Australian Open: Day 6

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 13: General view inside Margaret Court Arena during the in her Women’s Singles third round match between Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan and Elina Svitolina of Ukraine during day six of the 2021 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on February 13, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Mackenzie Sweetnam/Getty Images)

Getty Images

MELBOURNE, Australia -- The rally lasted 41 shots, with the players trading baseline groundstrokes for more than a minute, and when it ended, one person applauded.

The atmosphere was different for the sixth day of play at the Australian Open, with no fans to cheer for No. 5-seeded Elina Svitolina as she advanced to the fourth round by beating No. 26 Yulia Putintseva, 6-4, 6-0.

Svitolina won their marathon rally early in the second set, and the majority of points after that. There was no crowd due to the start of a five-day lockdown imposed by the Victoria state government in response to a COVID-19 outbreak at a hotel.

Up to 30,000 fans daily - 50% of capacity - had been admitted on previous days.

Svitolina, a tour veteran from Ukraine who has won 66 Grand Slam matches, needs one more win to match her best showing in Melbourne. She was a semifinalist at both Wimbledon and the U.S. Open in 2019.

Top-seeded Ash Barty of Australia was to play a night match Saturday against No. 29 Ekaterina Alexandrova. Three American women were on the schedule - No. 22 Jennifer Brady and two unseeded players, Jessica Pegula and Shelby Rogers.

No. 2-seeded Rafael Nadal was to continue his quest for a men’s-record 21st major title Saturday night against Cameron Norrie. Other men in third-round action included No. 4 Daniil Medvedev, No. 5 Stefanos Tsitsipas, No. 7 Andrey Rublev, No. 9 Matteo Berrettini and the last American on the men’s side, unseeded Mackenzie McDonald.