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Halep, Venus Williams set up Australian Open 3rd round clash


Simona Halep in action against American Sofia Kenin in Melbourne, on Thursday.
 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.

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

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