Facebook Social Button Twitter Social Button Follow Us on InstagramYouTube Social Button Follow Me on Pinterest
NewsVideosLive ScoresTV ListingsTournamentsRankingsLucky Letcord PodcastMagazine

By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Tuesday February 9, 2020

Simona Halep

Simona Halep rallied from a set down and 5-2 down in the third to defeat Ajla Tomljanovic in a tense battle on Day 3.

Photo Source: Getty Images

On a day that saw No.9-seeded Petra Kvitova and No.8-seeded Bianca Andreescu go down, second-seeded Simona Halep was pushed to the brink but held her ground against Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic.

Tennis Express

The Romanian, a finalist in Melbourne in 2018, weathered the energized game of the World No.72 and finally took control at the finish by reeling off the final five games of the match thanks to vintage scrambling, gritty defense and a touch of nerves from Tomljanovic.

“In the end, mentally I think I was a little bit stronger,” Halep said. “I had the desire to win the match and I didn’t want to give up.”

The Romanian will face Russia’s Veronika Kudermetova in the third round and could potentially face Iga Swiatek, the woman who rudely bounced her out of Roland-Garros last year, in the fourth round.

Swiatek was in action on Wednesday evening as well, and the Polish sensation didn’t skip a beat as she silenced the high octane game of Camila Giorgi with a comprehensive 6-2, 6-4 victory.

The 19-year-old remembered her loss to Giorgi at the 2019 Australian Open (she won only two games) and was eager to prove that she’s a totally different player in 2021. She succeeded brilliantly.

“I remember our last match from two years ago, and I remember that she was too strong for me and she played too fast, so I knew this time was going to be different because I made the big progress since Australian Open 2019,” Swiatek said. “So, yeah, I just wanted to dominate on court and be confident and don't let her play her game.”

Also powering through in the stacked lower half of the women’s singles draw was No.3-seeded Naomi Osaka, who stopped France’s Caroline Garcia, 6-2, 6-3.

The three-time Slam champion will face Ons Jabeur in the third round. She pitched ten aces, never faced a break point, and needed just 61 minutes to take out the former World No.4.

Osaka says she has been working hard on her return, thanks to some inspiration from Victoria Azarenka.

“I would definitely say I focused a lot on my returns during the offseason,” she said. “For me, that was the one thing I really wanted Wim [Fissette] to help me with, because when I played the finals in New York, Vika was really, like, pressuring me on my serves, and I just wanted to have a return like her, to be honest, because I felt like if I have a good serve and a good return, then it will kind of increase my chances a lot. So I definitely wanted to do well in that area, and I think that it might be showing a little bit. Hopefully I'll get even better than this.”

Osaka won 42 percent of her return points and broke three times on seven opportunities.


Latest News