Simona Halep Survives Tomljanovic To Reach Last 32 In Melbourne - UBITENNIS
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Simona Halep Survives Tomljanovic To Reach Last 32 In Melbourne

Simona Halep showed her champion qualities as she battled past Ajla Tomljanovic to reach the third round of the Australian Open.

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Simona Halep (@WTA - Twitter)

Simona Halep reeled five games in a row to defeat Ajla Tomljanovic 4-6 6-4 7-5 to reach the third round at the Australian Open.

 

The Romanian came back from 5-2 down in the deciding set to edge past a very good Ajla Tomljanovic on Margaret Court Arena.

Next for Halep is Veronika Kudermetova while on Rod Laver Arena, Naomi Osaka made short work of Caroline Garcia, winning 6-2 6-3.

The start of the match saw a few nerves from Tomljanovic as she looked to be over-aggressive against Halep’s consistency early on.

This saw the former finalist control points and take advantage to take the early break.

However the Australian quickly responded and started to find solutions as she controlled points but found the aggression at the right times when needed.

Good depth mixed with angles and Tomljanovic took control winning four games in a row for a 4-2 lead.

Although Halep quickly responded with a break of her own, the Romanian was seemingly frustrated with the amount of errors she was producing.

As Tomljanovic consistently mixed up her power and shot direction, Halep was struggling to find quick patterns of play to shorten the points.

A 14 minute long 10th game saw Tomljanovic cut down her errors more and claim a 58 minute set, 6-4.

There was no sign of letting up in the second set as she continued to move Halep around the court and control her aggression in a productive manner.

After four breaks in a row and a service hold each, the tempo started to slow down which gave the former finalist a chance to dictate the rhythm and show her consistent quality that makes her one of the best players in the world.

Observing the weaknesses, Halep gained the crucial break in the seventh game and held on to force a deciding set.

The final set saw Tomljanovic unwilling to fade away from the battle as she continued to deliver hammer-like forehands past Halep as she took an early 2-0 lead.

A resilient Halep dug deep and continued to work the angles as she won the next two games to level the set up.

There was no drop in quality from either player as these rallies were some of the best of the tournament with regular 20+ shots testing both players fitness.

However Tomljanovic’s mix of incredible power, exceptional court coverage and use of drop-shot was a recipe to out-play and outmanoeuvre the Romania.

Three games in a row saw the Australian storm to a 5-2 lead and move within one game of the biggest victory of her career.

However Halep was too experienced to know that this match wasn’t over just yet and she used her experience to force the issue as a cautious Tomljanovic couldn’t close out the match.

Three games in a row for Halep this time saw the match level at 5-5 in a tense match with the crowd heavily involved.

The level of quality increased with each rally as Tomljanovic didn’t seem to let the match slip between her fingers.

In the end though, Halep outlasted the Australian in a match that lasted two hours and 36 minutes to book her place into the third round.

A match of the year contender which had all the elements of a dramatic grand slam match.

Although Tomljanovic outhit and outplayed Halep for most of the contest, it was the Romanian who dug deep and found her champion qualities to come through.

Next for Halep is Veronika Kudermetova on Friday.

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Andy Murray Surging In Confidence After Reaching First ATP Quarter-Final Since 2019

The 34-year-old believes he is getting better with every match played on the Tour as he eyes a spot in the final later this week.

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Andy Murray (image via https://twitter.com/ATPTour_ES)

Former world No.1 Andy Murray says he is starting to gain more belief in his game after reaching the quarter-finals of the Moselle Open on Wednesday.

 

The three-time Grand Slam champion rallied to a 6-3, 6-3, win over Canada’s Vasek Pospisil in the French city. Murray dropped serve only once at the start of the second set but broke his opponent four times en route to the victory. It is the first time he has registered back-to-back wins on the ATP Tour since Wimbledon and it is the first time he has reached a quarter-final since winning the 2019 Antwerp Open.

Murray showed glimmers of his best tennis recently at the US Open where he took Stefanos Tsitsipas to five sets in the first round before losing. However, in his following tournament on the Challenger circuit he lost in the second round to world No.154 Roman Safiullin. Despite the mixed performances, the Brit says his fitness continues to improve and he believes he is heading in the right direction.

“For me, this period of the last few years has been the most I have played really,” Murray said following his win over Pospisil.
“My body feels good and I am starting to gain just a little bit of confidence with each match, starting to see the points and how I want to play them, which is great.
“There have been times in the past year where I have been a little bit confused and not seeing how the points are developing which was always a strong part of my game.
“It made me feel quite uncomfortable on court when I was feeling that way, so I am starting to get that back and the results are coming, my tennis is getting better.”

The 34-year-old, who now plays on the Tour with a metal hip after undergoing two operations, is targeting a return back into the world’s top 100 for the first time since 2018. He came agonisingly close in July when he reached 102. At present, he is currently ranked 113 but will climb at least four places following his run in Metz this week.

In the next round Murray will play either top seed Hubert Hurkacz or former top 10 player Lucas Pouille. Both players are likely to be a stern challenge for the three-time Grand Slam champion who is hoping to reach the final for the first time since 2007.

“I would love to get another opportunity to play here in the final, but there is a lot of tennis to be played before then potentially against the number one seed in the next round,” he reflected.
“It is not going to be easy if I want to reach the final, but I am playing well and have an opportunity.”

Murray has won 42 ATP titles and has earned more than $62M in prize money so far in his 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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