Australian Open 2022: Simona Halep and Aryna Sabalenka progress into second week | Tennis News


Simona Halep secured a routine 6-2 6-1 victory over Danka Kovinic; the second seed Aryna Sabalenka overcame problems on serve to beat Marketa Vondrousova and book her place in the fourth round

Last Updated: 22/01/22 8:17am

Simona Halep has lost just 12 games so far at this year's Australian Open

Simona Halep has lost just 12 games so far at this year’s Australian Open

Simona Halep and Aryna Sabalenka are safely through to the second week of the Australian Open after victories in Melbourne.

Halep, a two-time Grand Slam champion, advanced with a 6-2 6-1 win over Danka Kovinic, who had eliminated Emma Raducanu in the previous round.

The 30-year-old has dropped just 12 games in total to reach the second week. She has not lost yet in 2022 and this is a fifth-straight second-week appearance for her at Melbourne Park.

“I feel good, I feel more confident now because last year was a tough year,” Halep said.

“I think I played good tennis. She was a little bit tired and exhausted, but I’m pleased with the way I played. I feel good to be in the second week.”

Halep’s next opponent will be Alize Cornet, who celebrated her 32nd birthday with a 4-6 6-4 6-2 victory over Tamara Zidansek, a 2021 French Open semi-finalist.

“It’s definitely a very, very special victory being back in the second week 13 years after my first second week at the Australian Open,” she said.

“It’s quite special. The day of my birthday, I mean, what else can I ask for?”

Aryna Sabalenka is working through issues on her own serve

Aryna Sabalenka is working through issues on her own serve

Sabalenka, the second seed, has had to work hard for her place in the second week, having come back from a set down to win in her last three matches.

This time the Belarusian turned things around against Marketa Vondrousova to secure a 4-6 6-3 6-1 victory.

Sabalenka has been struggling with her serve and hit 10 double faults to just one ace on the Margaret Court Arena.

“I’m really happy right now, mostly I’m happy I made only 10 double-faults,” Sabalenka said, laughing, in her on-court interview. “I’ll just keeping working on the serve and hope it gets better with every match.”

Sabalenka now faces world No 115 Kaia Kanepi, who beat Australian Maddison Inglis 2-6 6-2 6-0.

Kanepi has reached the quarter-finals six times at Grand Slam events, but has never reached the last eight at the Australian Open.

Elsewhere in the draw, the 27th seed Danielle Collins also rallied from a set and a break down to beat 19-year-old Clara Tauson 4-6 6-4 7-5.

Collins’ fourth-round opponent is Elise Mertens, who needed just 70 minutes on court to win 6-2 6-2 over Zhang Shuai.

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