Halep hot-foots it into last 16 at Melbourne Park

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – 2nd seed Simon Halep relieved previous Russian Veronika Kudermetova 6-1 6-3 to reach the 4th round of the Australian Open for the 4th straight year on Friday.

The twice Grand Slam champ delighted in the Russian’s serve, breaking her challenger 3 times in the very first set and another 3 times in the 2nd.

The 29-year-old was broken two times herself however pounded 21 winners past her error-prone challenger and served out fairly conveniently for the win after an hour and 18 minutes on court.

“It’s always tough to play someone who you have never played before,” stated Halep, a finalist at Melbourne Park in 2018 and semi-finalist in 2015. “I improved a lot in my serve, I worked a lot on it in the off-season. I want to improve in every way.”

Up next is a last-16 encounter with the winner of Fiona Ferro’s later match versus Iga Swiatek, the Polish teen who downed Halep 6-1 6-2 at the exact same phase of in 2015’s French Open on her method to her first Grand Slam title.

“It’s a big challenge because she crushed me at the French Open,” Halep stated.

“I have to do something better. I’m confident, let’s see.”

(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, modifying by Simon Cameron-Moore)

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.