Melbourne, Jan 19 (IANS) Top seed Simona Halep of Romania on Saturday kept her bid for her second Grand Slam title alive as she brushed aside veteran Venus Williams of the United States 6-2, 6-3 to book a place in the Australian Open round of 16.
Having ending Williams’ 81st Grand Slam campaign in one hour and 17 minutes, the 2018 French Open champion will face next another former world No. 1 Serena Williams, who is seeking her 24th Grand Slam crown, reports Efe news.
“It’s going to be a bigger challenge, but I’m ready to face it,” Halep said after the win when asked about facing an in-form Serena, who has lost just nine games on her way to the fourth round.
Halep, the 2018 Australian Open runner-up, survived an early pressure by Venus who created three break points on the Romanian first two service games.
Then, the Romanian had the edge as she seized the first opportunity she had to break Venus’ serve for a 3-2 lead.
Once more, Halep did not fall apart under Venus’ pressure in the following game, saving four break points, including two in a row, and proceeded to earn another service break to make it 5-2 and seal the set in the following game, after fighting past the American.
The momentum seemed to be shifting in Veuns’ favor, as she seized on the first breaking point she had in the second set to punish Halep for squandering two game points.
But Halep did not allow Venus back to the match, breaking the American’s serve in the following game and fended off break points in the third game, to hold for 2-1.
Both players easily held serve during the next couple of games and all the action came in the final stretch, as Halep raced through the final three games, two breaks included, to seal the win.
Next up for Halep will be Serena, the 16th seed, who routed the 18-year-old Dayana Yastremska. The American leads Halep 8-1 in the head-to-head record.