Aus Open: Halep crushes Mertens to enter last 8

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Melbourne, Jan 27 (IANS) World No. 3 Simona Halep booked her place in the quarterfinals of the women’s singles event at the ongoing Australian Open after dismissing Elise Mertens 6-4, 6-4 on Monday.

Halep, the two-time Grand Slam champion, won six games in a row in the heart of the contest to wrestle away the initiative from the 16th seed and banished the nerves to complete an impressive triumph to make it in the last eight of the Australian Open for the fourth time in her career.

The 28-year-old recorded 21 winners to just eight unforced errors in a masterful counterpunching effort that she needed to counteract the Belgian’s total of 36 winners and 38 unforced errors.

“It’s a great performance by me to play the quarterfinals again, it’s really nice to enjoy tennis here in Australia. I’m really happy to go through,” Halep said after the match.

“I had to calm down, when I get a little bit nervous I get crazy on court.

“I had to stay cool, to get the energy from my box. I couldn’t think of going behind,” she added.

The 2018 finalist at Melbourne Park will meet either No. 28 seed Anett Kontaveit or Polish teenager Iga Swiatek in the quarterfinals.

–IANS

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