Wimbledon: Simona Halep cruises to last sixteen
5th seed Simona Halep sealed her passage into the final 16 at Wimbledon with a commanding straight sets victory 6-4, 6-3 over the No.26 seed Kiki Bertens.
Halep grabbed an early spot into the fourth round at a Wimbledon still plagued with rain delays, which have left even some second round matches still up in the air and forced the almost-unprecedented choice to schedule play on Middle Sunday, wtatennis.com informs.
The Romanian has stayed cool throughout the bad weather, though, and has yet to drop a set at the All-England Club. Bertens, her opponent, came into the matchup having won the last 12 of 13 matches – including a run to the French Open semi-finals – and amassing a lot of confidence along the way.
“I’m not surprised, because I knew she’s a good player,” Halep said of the Dutchwoman’s recent career renaissance. “I played many years ago against her and she beat me. I knew that she can be a good player because she’s very strong. She has a different game, a little bit under the ball and the ball is not easy to return.”
The heavier conditions under the roof seemed to favor the Dutchwoman, and she opened the match with a break but Halep quickly restored parity in the next game.
“I’m happy with the way I played. I expected a tough match. She didn’t give up at all till the last point,” Halep added. “I played well. I mean, I felt every ball. I felt my legs. The court was very safe. I could run like to all the balls.
“Yeah, everything was good. And also the roof was good for me today.”
The No.5 seed finally took the first set as Bertens’ first serves seem to abandon her and Halep unleashed some of her biggest forehands of the match.
After the five breaks of serve in the first set, the second went much more smoothly for the World No.5 as she broke once on Bertens’ opening service game to build up an assertive 3-0 lead.
Bertens held her nerve to force the No.5 seed to keep herself in it and serve it out at 5-3 and even held a break point after a HawkEye challenge went her way, but a pair of commanding points won on Halep’s forehand dashed Bertens’ hopes of forcing a decider.
Halep has a day’s rest on Sunday before facing Madison Keys, who recently went up to 9th WTA ranking.
Halep told digisport.ro: “She is a strong player, she has a powerful service. She is full of confidence as she has won a tournament on grass. I believe this surface fits her best, although I also play good tennis on it. I expect a tough match, I have to go and to what I do best.”
Halep and Keys met twice until now. Madison Keys won in Sidney in 2014, score 6-1, 6-4, while Halep won in Rome 5-7, 6-0, 6-1, also in 2014.
In order to reach the last sixteen stage, Madison defeated Laura Siegemund (6-3, 6-1), Kirsten Flipkens (6-4, 4-6, 6-3) and Alize Cornet (6-4, 5-7, 6-2).
Mergea and Bopanna, through to the last sixteen, Niculescu defeated
In the doubles event, the pair Florin Mergea/Rhoan Bopanna (Romania/India) has qualified to the last sixteen round, after defeating Andrej Martin/Hans Podlipnik-Castillo 7-5, 6-2.
They will gace the winners of the match between Henri Kontinen (Finland)/John Peers (Australia) and Marcin Matkowski (Poland)/Leander Paes (India). The match is to be played on Sunday.
Monica Niculescu was defeated on Saturday by Timea Bacsinszky (11th WTA), 6-4, 2-6, 1-6, in the second round of the Wimbledon tournament.
In the women’s doubles event, the pair Irina Begu/Raluca Olaru was also defeated on Saturday by Kiki Bertens (Netherlands)/Johanna Larsson (Netherlands) 6-3, 6-4.