The no. 1 seed, Simona Halep has survived yet another scare at the Australian Open. She came back from being down a break in the third set to win the match 6-3 6(5)-7 6-4 against American Sofia Kenin.
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Photo: MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 17: Simona Halep of Romania plays a forehand in her second round match against Sofia Kenin of the United States during day four of the 2019 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 17, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
Halep broke in the opening game of the first set, and then broke again in the ninth game to win the first set. She did not face any break points in this set, but a ‘walk in the park’ match for Halep quickly became a dogfight as the American lifted her game.
In the second set, Halep was leading 3-0, but Kenin fought back to put the games back on serve 3-2. From there, both players held serve, taking the set to a tiebreak. It was close in the tiebreak, but in the end it was Kenin who won it, keeping her alive in this match.
Kenin broke the Romanian’s serve in the sixth game of the third set to lead 4-2, but she was unable to consolidate and Halep broke back immediately. In the ninth game, Halep was able to break, giving her a 4-5 lead and the chance to serve for the match, which she did with success.
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Photo: MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 17: Sofia Kenin of the United States serves in her second round match against Simona Halep of Romania during day four of the 2019 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 17, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
Both players kept their unforced errors minimal, with Halep hitting just 7 and Kenin hitting 12, and Halep had to really dig deep to pull off the win.
“I’ve no idea how I won tonight” said Halep in here on-court interview. “Its so tough to explain what happened on court, but it was a very tough one against an amazing player. It was really difficult to stay there for every ball, to run so much. I got a little bit injured in the second set but I just fought because I wanted to win and to come back here. Hopefully in the next round, I’ll play better and make a better match.
Halep’s first round match against Kaia Kanepi was another long battle, where she was a set and a break down, but went on to win the match after 2 hours and 12 minutes.
In the third round, Halep will face another American, Venus Williams, who defeated France’s Alize Cornet 6-3 4-6 6-0. It will be their sixth meeting, with Halep winning 2 of their previous meetings and Williams winning 3.