Simona Halep Reacts To Latest Australian Open Win - UBITENNIS
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Simona Halep Reacts To Latest Australian Open Win

The world No.2 spoke about the improvement of her serve, the fast conditions conditions at Melbourne Park and a potential clash with Iga Swiatek following her latest win.

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Second seed Simona Halep dropped just four games en route to booking a place in the second week of the Australian Open.

 

The world No.2 required 79 minutes to dismiss Veronika Kudermetova 6-1, 6-3, on the Rod Laver Arena. A player who entered the Grand Slam at a career ranking high of 36. However, Kudermetova proved to be no threat for Halep who fired four aces and 21 winners.

“It’s always tough to play somebody for the first time,” said Halep. “I knew that she’s been hitting very strong and a threat. So I had to be strong in my legs as well.”

Serving was the key aspect to Halep’s latest win at Melbourne Park on Friday with her opponent struggling throughout. At one stage the Romanian broke Kudermetova in six out of her seven service games to seal victory. Although it wasn’t completely one-way traffic for her as she was also broken twice during the second set.

“The serve helped me a lot today,” She stated. “I’ve improved my serve a lot and worked pretty hard during the off-season. I just want to be stronger in every (area of my game).”

29-year-old Halep is seeded in a Grand Slam for the 29th time in a row. This year is her 11th appearance at the Australian Open where she is bidding to win the title for the first time in her career. She finished runner-up to Caroline Wozniacki in 2018.

A veteran of the sport, Halep describes the courts at Melbourne Park as the quickest she has ever experienced. Something that has also been said by the likes of Novak Djokovic and Dominic Thiem. Although she has mixed emotions about the court speed.

“The court is a lot faster than last year and it is not easy for me because I have to be fast and block the power of my opponent. But I also like it, so I enjoy it.”

Halep will play either reigning French Open champion Iga Swiatek or Fiona Ferro. Should she end up playing Swiatek, she will have a shot at redemption.

“It’s a big challenge because she crushed me at the French Open,” she said of Swiatek. “I just have to play a better match against her. I’m confident and I’m here just to give my best.”

Halep has now won 99 Grand Slam main draw matches in her career.

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Pablo Carreno Busta beats Mikael Ymer in Metz

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Second seed Pablo Carreno Busta beat Mikael Ymer 7-5 6-2 after 1 hour and 52 minutes to reach the quarter finals at the Moselle Open

 

Carreno Busta set up a quarter final match against Danish Next Gen Holger Rune, who battled past Lorenzo Sonego 6-7 (6-8) 6-4 6-4 after 2 hours and 40 minutes. 

Lucas Pouille rallied from one set down to beat Brayden Schnur 3-6 6-4 6-4 in 1 hour and 59 minutes. 

Peter Gojowczyk battle past lucky loser Antoine Hoang 6-2 3-6 6-4. Gojowczyk also beat Hoang in three sets in the final round of qualifying. 

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John Millman beats Jaume Munar in three sets in Nur Sultan

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John Millman battled past Jame Munar 6-4 6-7 (5-7) 7-5 after 3 hours and 9 minutes to advance to the quarter finals in Nur Sultan. 

 

“These long matches are not good in my age, I tell you !. It was such a physical battle out there. It was such a physical battle out there. I thought the level was extremely good. I thought I improved from yesterday in terms of how I was playing: Munari s a tough competitor. His body probably let him down a little bit towards the end. I have got to tell you, my body wasn’t feeling all that great, either. It was such a physical match and just so happy to extend my stay here”, said Millman.

Laslo Djere overcame Lorenzo Musetti 6-4 6-7 (3-7) after 2 hours and 48 minutes. Djere will face either Dusan Lajovic or Soonwoo Kwon. Ilya Ivashka beat wildcard Timofey Skatov 6-2 6-3. Carlos Taberner knocked out Ricardas Berankis 7-5 6-4. 

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Iga Swiatek and Petra Kvitova in Ostrava advance to the quarter finals

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Last year’s Roland Garros Iga Swiatek beat Yulia Putintseva 6-4 6-4 in 1 hour and 47 minutes to reach the quarter finals at the J&T Open in Ostrava. 

 

Swiatek, who was playing the second indoor WTA main draw of her career after Budapest 2019, faced Putuntseva for the first time in her career. Putintseva reached the semifinal in Portoroz last week and overcame Zhang Shuai after 3 hours and 24 minutes. 

Putintseva went down 0-3 in the first set, but she broke back to draw level to 3-3. Swiatek reeled off the last eight points of the first set to win the first set. 

Swiatek missed three break points to break Putintseva at 4-4 in the second set. The Pole saved two break points with her fourth ace and a series of backhand errors. Swiatek broke serve at love in the ninth game with two consecutive backhands to win the second set 6-4. 

“It was very tough. She was running to every ball. It was really hard. It was really hard to finish her, especially with such a slow surface. She could reach everything and she was fighting to the end. Even on match point I had to finish her three times. I am really happy that I won. It’s really hard for me to play against such players. I like to risk and with risking comes unforced errors, so it’s tough to get the balance between when to push and when to stay and wait for the opponent to miss”, said Swiatek. 

Petra Kvitova edged past Anastasia Potapova 6-1 6-7 (4-7) 6-3. Kvitova raced out to a 6-1 4-2 lead, but Potapova won three consecutive games with a break-back to love in the eighth game to draw level to 4-4. Kvitova had to save two break points in the 10th game. Kvitova rallied from 0-3 to draw level to 3-3 in the tie-break, but Potapova took the breaker 7-4. 

Potapova got an early break in the third game, but Kvitova broke straight back to draw level to 3-3. Kvitova converted her second break point in the eighth game to win the second set 6-3. 

Jelena Ostapenko, who finished runne-up to Clara Tauson in Luxembourg last Sunday, cruised past lucky loser Clara Tauson 6-4 6-0 in 66 minutes. 

US Alison Riske rallied from 1-3 down in the third set before beating Fiona Ferro 6-4 1-6 6-4 after 1 hour and 15 minutes. 

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