Elise Mertens: It was very hot today and the balls were flying a bit



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Elise Mertens: It was very hot today and the balls were flying a bit

Elise Mertens was satisfied with the performance she delivered at Melbourne Park on Saturday. Mertens delivered a strong performance as she saw off Zhang Shuai 6-2 6-2 to reach the Australian Open round-of-16. Mertens was glad she managed to stay consistent throughout the match and avoid unforced errors.

"To win is always a good thing. Most of all, I'm pleased about my performance. I think I served pretty well, and that made my service game a bit easier," Mertens said after the win, per the WTA website. "I think it was very hot today, and the balls were flying a little bit, so I think I controlled that pretty well.

She was making a bit more mistakes than she used to maybe, but I think overall, [it was] a consistent match for me."

Mertens routinely handled Zhang

Mertens got off to a quick start to the match as she claimed back-to-back breaks to take a 3-0 lead.

Zhang got on the board in the fourth game after she broke Mertens to get one break back. Losing her serve in the third game didn't affect Mertens as she broke Zhang again in the seventh game before serving out for the first set a game later.

After winning the first set, Mertens claimed two early breaks to take a comfortable 5-1 second set lead. Mertens missed out on her first match point in the seventh game but routinely served out for the match a game later.

Mertens will be fighting Danielle Collins for a place in the Australian Open quarterfinal. "[Mertens has] had some really great results in Australia," said Collins. "[She] has always been a really solid player, a high-ranked player on tour.

She's very consistent across the board and is always fighting until the end. I'm sure we're going to really battle out there and hopefully have fun at the same time." The head-to-head between Mertens and Collins stands at 1-1.