Caroline Wozniacki reaches quarterfinals at Australian Open

MELBOURNE, Australia -- Caroline Wozniacki continued to cash in on her second chance at the Australian Open, reaching the quarterfinals here for the first time since 2012 with a 6-3, 6-0 win over Magdalena Rybarikova on Sunday.

After saving two match points and coming back from 5-1 down in the third set of her second-round win, No. 2-ranked Wozniacki said she was "playing with the house money'' and had nothing to lose.

"I think being almost out of the tournament, you have nothing to lose after that,'' Wozniacki said. "I played really well from being down 5-1 ... since then I've just kept that going.''

She has won both matches since that round in straight sets and will next play Carla Suarez Navarro, who came back from a set and 4-1 down to beat No. 32 Anett Kontaveit 4-6, 6-4, 8-6.

After a tight tussle in the opening four games against No. 19-seeded Rybarikova, a Wimbledon semifinalist last year, Wozniacki dominated the fourth-round match. She even tried a tweener (a between-the-legs shot) from near the baseline for the first time in a tour-level match. She didn't win the point, but she said it was progress.

"I think you can tell my confidence is high," she said in an on-court TV interview. "I tried a tweener today and it went in."

She looked at a replay on the stadium screen and joked, "I'm admiring myself there."

Wozniacki could return to the top ranking if she reaches the semifinals at least and a combination of other results go her way.

She has never won a Grand Slam singles title but lost in the US Open final twice -- to Kim Clijsters in 2009 and to Serena Williams in 2014.

Suarez Navarro has reached the quarterfinals at a major five times, but has yet to make the semifinals.

She has won two of their seven career head-to-heads, which date back to a match on a lower-tier tour in 2006.

"Well, we play a lot of times,'' Suarez Navarro said. "I know how she plays. I know how tough she is. She's fighting every ball, but at the same time she can play aggressive. She has a lot of experience on these rounds.''

Elise Mertens extended her winning streak to nine matches with a 7-6 (5), 7-5 victory over Petra Martic, reaching the quarterfinals in her first appearance in the main draw.

After unsuccessfully serving for the match, Mertens broke Martic's service in the 11th game and then held to love in the last game.

Martic took a medical timeout to receive treatment from a trainer for a hip or upper thigh complaint after the fifth game of the second set.

Mertens, who successfully defended her Hobart International title last week, finished last year ranked 35th, up from No. 120 in 2016.

In the quarterfinals, Mertens will play fourth-seeded Elina Svitolina, who beat Czech qualifier Denisa Allertova 6-3, 6-0 to reach the quarterfinals here for the first time.

Svitolina was ruthless in the second set, conceding only eight points in the first five games. Even when Allertova had game point at 40-0 in the last, Svitolina went on a five-point roll an closed it out with a backhand winner down the line.

The result extended her winning to nine matches, including a run to the title at the Brisbane International two weeks ago.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.