Simona Halep, the women’s world no.1, beat Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard in straight sets on Thursday to progress to the third round of the Australian Open.
In their fourth competitive meeting, the pair started the match fighting, both breaking their opponent’s serve in the first and second games, but it was Halep who continued fighting to go 4-1 up, and as the more consistent of the pair taking the first set 6-2, despite glimmers of greatness from Bouchard.
The second set started in a similar vein with Halep breaking and Bouchard coming straight back for the points in the second game.
Halep, who’s ankle had been a concern going into the match, was on fine form, however, and started to gather pace to win four consecutive games and take the second set 6-2.
Speaking after the match, Halep said “I think I played pretty well tonight.”
On her ankle, she added: “Even if I’m a little bit injured, I played pretty well and I moved really well…I feel the pain, but I didn’t think about it.”
Halep will face Lauren Davis in the third round.
Elsewhere in the women's singles tournament, Australian Ashleigh Barty came back from a set down against Camila Giorgi to win 7-5, 6-4, 6-1 securing a place for the eighteenth seed against Japan's Naomi Osaka.