Thu, 26 May 2022

Simona Halep soars into Australian Open fourth round

Field Level Media
23 Jan 2022, 02:19 GMT+10

No. 14 seed Simona Halep of Romania reached the fourth round of the Australian Open for the fifth straight year, breezing past Danka Kovinic of Montenegro 6-2, 6-1 on Saturday in Melbourne.

Halep won all six sets during the tournament's opening week and lost only 12 games, improving her season record to 8-0 and her record in the third round of Grand Slams to 21-3.

The former world No. 1 and two-time Grand Slam winner converted six of her 10 break chances against Kovinic, who finished with more than twice as many unforced errors (25) as winners (11).

"It was a great match," Halep said. "I think I played good tennis. She was a little bit tired and exhausted, but I'm pleased with the way I played. I feel good to be in the second week."

Halep's next opponent is unseeded Alize Cornet of France, who rallied for a 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 victory in her third-round match with No. 29 seed Tamara Zidansek of Slovenia.

No. 19 seed Elise Mertens of Belgium reached the fourth round in her ninth straight Grand Slam event, needing only 70 minutes to complete a 6-2, 6-2 win against China's Shuai Zhang. Mertens made only nine unforced errors, compared to 28 by Zhang.

"To win is always a good thing," Mertens said. "... I think it was very hot today, and the balls were flying a little bit, so I think I controlled that pretty well. She was making a bit more mistakes than she used to maybe, but I think that overall (it was) a consistent match for me."

Standing between Mertens and the quarterfinals is American Danielle Collins, the No. 27 seed. Collins rallied for a 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 victory against Danish teenager Clara Tauson. Mertens and Collins split their two previous meetings.

No. 7 seed Iga Swiatek of Poland advanced to the final 16 with an efficient 6-2, 6-3 defeat of No. 25 Daria Kasatkina of Russia. Swiatek saved eight of nine break points in the one-hour, 34-minute match.

Of the eight games that went to deuce, Swiatek won all five in the first set and two of three in the second set.

"That was a really intense match," Swiatek said.

In the next round, Swiatek will meet Romanian Sorana Cirstea, who upset No. 10 seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia 6-3, 2-6, 6-2.

Also advancing Saturday was Estonia's Kaia Kanepi, who will next face No. 2 seed Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus following a 2-6, 6-2, 6-0 comeback against Australia's Maddison Inglis.

--Field Level Media

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