Elise Mertens (WTA 14) has qualified for the third round of the Australian Open in Melbourne, the first grand slam of the season. The Limburg, twelfth seed, defeated the Russian Margarita Gasparyan (WTA 91) 6-1, 7-5 after an hour and a half match.
The 23-year-old Mertens takes the third round against American Madison Keys (WTA 17) or the Russian Anastasia Potapova (WTA 89). The Belgian number one, last year semi-finalist in Melbourne, is the only one that still remains in the ladies room at the Australian Open.
Elise Mertens is playing Thursday, also still in the doubles, together with the White-Russian Aryna Sabalenka. The duo takes on American Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Dutch Demi Schuurs. With that last played Mertens last year, the doubles, she qualified for the Masters in Singapore.