Tennis  

Serena rolls on, Halep defeats Venus

Romania’s Simona Halep (R) shakes hands with Venus Williams of the US during their women’s singles match on day six of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 19, 2019. DAVID GRAY / AFP

Simona Halep defeated Venus Williams 6/2; 6/3; to advance to the quarter-finals and thereby prevented a clash of two sisters, after Serena had outclassed Dayana Yastremska of Ukraine 6/2; 6/1.

The world number one player from Romania broke Venus’s serve in the fifth game of the first set. The 38-year multiple Grand Slam winner battled to level in the sixth game but could not convert two break points. In the seventh game, Venus was behind 15-30 on her serve and faced a break point at 30-40 to concede another break. Halep served out the set 6/2.

Venus lost the first game of the second set but succeeded in breaking Halep right away. She had to stave off two break points before holding to lead 2-1. Games proceeded with serve until Venus lost her service game, for a 4-3 tally. Serving to save the match at 3-5, Venus faced two match points at 15-40 and her opponent held to win the match.

The powerful serve of Venus landed five aces to two for Halep who committed same number of double faults compared to four by Venus. Halep hit 21 outright winners to Venus’ 24 but the American made 33 unforced errors to her opponent’s 12. At the finish line Halep amassed 68 total points and Venus had 48.

It was the sixth career meeting by the two players. Venus won their first encounter at the 2012 Madrid Tournament and the next two until Halep achieved her revenge at the 2015 Rome International tournament. Thereafter, the Romanian has won all their encounters.

Sister Serena continued her ruthless march as she rolled over the 18-year old Ukrainian, Dayana who is ranked 59 and plays two-handed on both sides. The duel lasted only 67 minutes. Playing in her second Grand Slam event, the younger player started her campaign in Melbourne by defeating Australia’s Samantha Stosur, 7/5; 6/2 and her second round opponent, Spain’s Carla Suarez-Navarro 6/3; 3/6; 6/1. It was Dayana’s second appearance in a Grand Slam after her debut at the 2018 US Open when she lost in the first round.

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