Romanian tennis player Simona Halep, world number two, advanced today to the round of 16 of the Australian Open, the first Grand Slam of the year, after prevailing over Russia's 32nd-seeded Veronika Kudermetova 6-1, 6- 3.
Halep (29 years old), second seed, obtained an effortless victory in Melbourne after an hour and 18 minutes.
The Romanian definitely dominated the first set, winning 6-1, after losing the inaugural game. The game was more balanced in the second act, in which Kudermetova was slightly more precise, and Halep made more mistakes. The Russian started with a break, but Halep came back and won two games in a row. Kudermetova broke to love to take a 3-2 lead, and missed a 4-2 ball, and Halep restored the tie, 3-3. Game eight, at 4-3 for Simona, was decisive for the fate of the set, with the Romanian finally managing the break at her third chance, and then sealed the match (6-3).
Halep made 4 aces and 3 double faults, and Kudermetova ended with an ace and 2 double faults. The Romanian was better at service, 60% -54% in the first and 47% -33% in the second set. Halep created no less than 13 break points, of which she scored 6. Her opponent converted 2 out 4. Halep finished with more winners, 21-17, and with fewer unforced errors, 12-38, than Kudermetova.
This was the first match between Halep and Kudermetova (23 years, WTA's NO. 36).
Halep secured a cheque worth 320,000 AU dollars and 240 WTA points.
Halep, a finalist in 2018 and a semifinalist last year in Melbourne, will face off in the round of 16 the winner between 15th seed, reigning Roland Garros champion Iga Swiatek of Poland, and Fiona Ferro of France. AGERPRES (RO - author: Mihai Tenea, editor: Mihai Dragomir; EN - author: Simona Iacob, editor: Simona Klodnischi)