Second seed Simona Halep put up a strong showing against 32nd-seeded Veronika Kudermetova to reach the pre-quarter-finals of the Australian Open on Friday. The former finalist won in straight sets 6-1, 6-3 in an hour and 18 minutes.
Halep, the finalist at the 2018 Australian Open, rebounded from her wonky second round against Ajla Tomljanovic in a completely dominant manner against the Russian. Not only was Halep not hesitant in her shot-making, but the full range of her shot-making was also on display in the opening set.
She won five games in a row to win the opening set in just 30 minutes. There were, however, ups and downs in Halep’s game in the second set. She was broken in the first game of the set before getting it back in the second game.
Two games later, she yet again found herself trailing by a break after a series of errors. But as had happened before, the inconsistency in Kudermetova’s game didn’t allow her to consolidate the break yet again.
Australian Open: Simona Halep reaches the second week
The set veered lopsidedly between the two players as each interspersed errors regularly between winners. Nonetheless, despite the obvious dip in her performance in the second set, Halep did enough to win the latter three games of the second set to close out the match without no other twists in the tale.
Halep hit 21 winners to Kudermetova’s 17 and had 12 unforced errors to the Russian’s 38. The Romanian finished the match with 70 points to Kudermetova’s 52. In the fourth round, Halep will take on 15th seed Iga Swiatek.
The Pole defeated Fiona Ferro 6-4, 6-3 in their round-of-32 meeting. This was Swiatek’s 10th straight match win at the Majors – going back to her 2020 French Open title. The 19-year-old’s upcoming match against Simona Halep at the Australian Open will also be a rematch of their fourth-round clash at Roland Garros last year.