MELBOURNE, Jan 17: Top-seed Romanian Simona Halep and Venus Williams of the United States set up a third round clash at the Australian Open after beating American Sofia Kenin and France’s Alize Kornet respectively in their second round matches here on Thursday.
Simona Halep in action against American Sofia Kenin in Melbourne, on Thursday.
World No. 1 Halep overcame a spirited challenge from Kenin - who won the second set in a tie-breaker and even broke Halep’s service in the third - to register a 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-4 win in two hours and 31 minutes, reports Efe news.
“I have no idea how I won this tonight. It was a very tough one, she’s an amazing player,” Halep said in her on-court interview after the match.
Williams also dropped a set and had to work hard to get past Cornet with a scoreline of 6-3, 4-6, 6-0.
The American acknowledged Halep’s calibre ahead of the high-profile clash, set to take place on Saturday.
“She’s very consistent on the court and in her results. So throughout the year, she’s playing at a really high level. That’s what keeps her ranking up,” Williams said in a post-match interview.
Halep, the runner-up in Melbourne last year after losing to Dane Caroline Wozniacki, has a 2-3 record against Williams, although the Romanian has won the last two meetings between the two.
Today’s other results: Japan’s Naomi Osaka downed Slovenia’s Tamara Zidansek 6-2, 6-4, Japanese Kei Nishikori defeated 39-year-old veteran Croatian Ivo Karlovic 6-3, 7-6(6), 5-7, 5-7, 7-6(7), Madison Keys of the United States beat Russia’s Anastasia Potapova 6-3, 6-4, Elise Mertens of Belgium defeated Russia’s Margarita Gasparyan 6-1, 7-5, Anastasija Sevastova from Latvia defeated Bianca Andreescu of Canada 6-3, 3-6, 6-2, former World No.1 Karolina Pliskova beat unseeded American Madison Brengle, 4-6, 6-1, 6-0, Croatian Borna Coric beat Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics 6-4, 6-3, 6-4. – IANS