Sports

Simona Halep, Kerber advance at Australian Open

MELBOURNE, Jan 25 (Agencies) | Publish Date: 1/25/2020 10:42:04 AM IST

Simona Halep proved too strong for Kazakh Yulia Putintseva in their first career meeting as the Romanian fourth seed sailed through to the fourth round of the Australian Open with a 6-1, 6-4 win on Saturday.

Former world number one Halep, who reached the Melbourne Park final in 2018, broke Putintseva’s serve three times in the first set and twice in the second.

Halep, who held the WTA year-end top ranking in 2017 and 2018, has not lost a set in her first week at Melbourne Park and was aggressive against Putintseva from the outset. Her hard-hitting baseline play and excellent court coverage were also full on display as she hit 26 winners.

Putintseva, ranked 38th in the world, broke Halep once in each set and surprised her opponent with some well-disguised drop shots, though her last attempt hit the net to end the match. “I knew she’s a very good player with the drop shots,” Halep said. “I got a little bit frustrated because I got them, most of them, but I missed them or I just put the ball back and then she passed me. So, yeah, it was a little bit of frustration there. But afterwards, I paid more attention to her shots, so it was much better in the end.”

Twice Grand Slam champion Halep, 28, will next meet Belgian No. 16 seed Elise Mertens who defeated Catherine Bellis 6-1, 6 (5)-7 (7), 6-0. Germany’s Angelique Kerber beat Italian Camila Giorgi 6-2, 6-7(4), 6-3 to move on to the fourth round, where she will meet Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, who sent second seed Karolina Pliskova spinning out of the tournament.

Three-times Grand Slam champion Kerber, who won the Melbourne Park title in 2016, said she was only keeping an eye on who her next opponent was.

Kerber, seeded 17th, survived a grinding encounter against 102nd-ranked Giorgi to make the fourth round for the fifth straight year. She was barely troubled in the first set as the erratic Giorgi served up eight double faults and 20 unforced errors.

However, Giorgi cut out the misfires and dialled in her groundstrokes in the second set, striking a forehand winner in the tie-break to level the match.

The third set was a closely fought affair as the pair traded breaks midway but the Italian was unable to keep up with Kerber, who secured a second break to go up 5-3 before serving out the victory. Meanwhile, Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova ended Pliskova’s campaign with a shock 7-6, (7-4) 7-6 (7-3) win. Pliskova was previously unbeaten in 2020, having won the season-opening Brisbane International and then two more matches in Melbourne.

While Pavlyuchenkova moves on to play Angelique Kerber for a quarter-final spot, Pliskova joins 2019 champion Naomi Osaka and seven-times winner Serena Williams on the Open scrap heap.

Rafael Nadal cruises into last 16
World No. 1 Rafael Nadal on Saturday produced a masterclass to hammer Pablo Carreno Busta and enter the fourth round of the ongoing Australian Open for the 13th time in his career. Top-seeded Nadal, who is eyeing to win 20th grand slam title and create record, conceded just five points on serve through his opening two sets, fired nine aces and zero double faults to register a 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 win over Busta.
“Had been my best match of the tournament so far, without a doubt, so that’s a very positive thing. Sorry for Pablo who is a good friend of mine. I wish him all the best for the rest of the season,” Nadal said after the match. 
“I think today I did very well with my serve. And then I started to hit some very good forehands down the line, and that’s the key shot for me,” the 33-year-old added.

-Tags:#Simona

Launched on December 3,1990. Nagaland Post is the first and highest circulated newspaper of Nagaland state. Nagaland Post is also the first newspaper in Nagaland to be published in multi-colour.

Desk:+91-3862-248 489, e-mail: npdesk@gmail.com Fax: +91-3862-248 500
Advt.:+91-3862-248 267, e-mail:npostadvt@gmail.com

QUICK LINKS

SUNDAY POST

Join us on

© Nagaland Post 2018. All Rights are Reserved
Designed by : 4C Plus