US Open: Simona Halep through to the last sixteen. Mergea/Bopanna also qualify

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Playing her first ever night match on Arthur Ashe Stadium, World No.2 Simona Halep outshone Shelby Rogers to get within one win of reaching her first ever US Open quarterfinal, wtatennis.com informs.
The No.2-seeded Halep was just too solid on the night, hitting a mere nine unforced errors in the match, and after just 67 minutes on the court she moved past the American WTA Rising Star, 6-2, 6-3.
The Romanian had a different take on how the match went, however.
“Actually today I didn’t play very well,” Halep commented. “It was the first time I played the night session and I couldn’t feel the ball at the beginning of the match – it’s a big difference between playing at night and day. And the weather was cooler today – it was just really different out there.
“But after that I found the rhythm and started to be aggressive again. It was good in the end.”
Halep has reached the quarterfinals or better at every major but this one. She’s now equalled her best performance here – she also made the fourth round here in 2013 (falling to Flavia Pennetta).
“It was a great first week for me. It was nice,” Halep said. “I came here without expectations, because after Roland Garros and Wimbledon, I couldn’t think like I would do a good result here. But I’m in the second week now. I feel happy. I feel confident. I feel like I have chances this tournament.
“I’m just looking forward to the next round and, of course, improving day by day.”
Standing between Halep and the last eight will be No.24 seed Sabine Lisicki, who won an all-out war against Barbora Strycova, 6-4, 4-6, 7-5. After building a 6-4, 2-0 lead, Lisicki’s game started going off, and Strycova’s mix of net rushing and consistency off the baseline began gathering more and more steam, as she won 11 of the next 14 games to take the second set, 6-4, and go up 5-1 in the third.
Lisicki caught fire one last time, though, reeling off six games in a row to steal the victory.
The German will also be going for her first US Open quarterfinal, and first Grand Slam quarterfinal outside of Wimbledon – in fact she’s been to the quarterfinals or better at the All-England Club a whopping five times, including a run to the final there in 2013 (falling to Marion Bartoli).
Halep leads Lisicki in their head-to-head, 3-1, and has won their last three in a row.
In the men’s doubles event, Florin Mergea/Rohan Bopanna (Romania/India), 6th seeded, have qualified to the last sixteen after defeating Mariusz Fyrstenberg/Santiago Gonzalez (Poland/Mexico) 6-3, 7-6, digi24.ro informs. In the next round Mergea/Bopanna will face 9th seeded Daniel Nestor/Edouard Roger-Vasselin (Canada/France).

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