Sunday, 21 April, 2019

Australian Open: World no. 1 Halep beats Kenin

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Andrew Wong | 21 January, 2019, 15:44

World number one Simona Halep beat American Sofia Kenin to reach the third round in the Australian Open on Thursday.

"When I got to 3-3, it just flared up", a dejected Kyrgios told the physio during a break at the end of the first set.

That match was followed in Rod Laver Arena by No. 1 Novak Djokovic's 6-3, 7-5, 6-4 victory over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in a rematch of the 2008 final at Melbourne Park.

Kerber, a triple Grand Slam champion who won in Melbourne in 2016, faced just one breakpoint in the match in the second set and converted her first opportunity in the eighth game to go 5-3 up and serve for the set.

"It was a very tough one, she's an unbelievable player", she said.

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The third set's opening game, turned into an epic arm-wrestle that went to deuce seven times as Halep failed to convert four break points against the dogged Kenin.

The 21-year-old's breakthrough at Flushing Meadow over Serena Williams made her a new standard bearer for tennis in her homeland, Asia and the next generation of women, and she is working hard on living up to the hype. That broke the resistance of her opponent and Williams eased to a 6-2 win in the final set.

Seven-time major victor Venus Williams advanced with a 6-3, 4-6, 6-0 win over Alize Cornet.

Halep did not provide details of her injury, but a herniated disc cut short her season a year ago. "She's very solid. It was really tough to hit winners".

"The thing is, I'm used to handshakes".

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"I don't want to remember that match - it was a tough one!" the Romanian joked.

"I don't want to say too much".

"I just want to give my best to find the rhythm".

Japanese superstar, Kei Nishikori also survived a huge scare as he was a whisker away from elimination in his match against Ivo Karlovic, who sent down 59 aces.

Venus' last win over a World No.1 came back in 2017, when she beat Angelique Kerber in Miami. He looked very exhausted.

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Starmer said there was a roadblock in the way of a solution to the Brexit crisis, "and that roadblock is the prime minister ". Brexiteers within the Tory ranks may then be tempted to hold their noses and wave through the Prime Minister's divorce deal.

"I don't think I'll be able to get rid of the smile on my face any time soon". You had a very, very long match.

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