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Australian Open: Halep sweeps past Bouchard

18 January 2018

"I'm more than 50 per cent sure I was close to winning that match because I had confidence after Paris and I was feeling the ball pretty well", said Halep. Bogdan also holds a winning record against Top 20 players, 2-1, with victories over Anastasija Sevastova in the Bucharest quarterfinals previous year and Elena Vesnina five weeks later in the first round of New Haven.

Those fears extended to Halep herself too, particularly after she had watched the toe-curling footage of her fall.

Following the event at Kooyong, she was quoted as saying she needed a break away from tennis and would seek that out following the Australian Open.

Simona Halep is facing an anxious wait after suffering an apparent ankle injury in her Australian Open first-round win over Destanee Aiava.

"Of course this is one of the biggest players I beat".

If anyone was in any doubt about the state of Simona Halep's left ankle, they got their answer approximately seven minutes into Thursday night's encounter with Eugenie Bouchard - and it was a comprehensive one too.

Angelique Kerber, the 2016 champion, made it 10 singles wins in a row this year by seeing off fellow German Anna-Lena Friedsam 6-0 6-4.

In the upset on a scorching day 4, Chinese Taipei's 82nd ranked Hsieh Su-Wei ousted reigning Wimbledon champion and third seed Garbine Muguruza in straight set, 7-6 (1) 6-4 in the second round at Rod Laver Arena. "I think the experience helped me today, and also the way I fought, I think I was there at every point, and I didn't give up at all during the match".

Maria Sharapova has advanced to the third round, beating Anastasija Sevastova 6-1, 7-6 (4) as the temperatures began to rise at Melbourne Park. Former world number one Pliskova was among those to move smoothly into the second round, with a steady 6-3, 6-4 win over Veronica Cepede Royg.

Former Australian Open semifinalist Johanna Konta has been knocked out of the tournament in the second round by American lucky loser Bernarda Pera 6-4, 7-5.

Aiava's fearless charge to the first set in her first appearance on Rod Laver Arena came to a dramatic halt as she called for a medical timeout at the change of ends, complaining of breathing problems.

Sharapova, still working her way back from a 15-month ban for taking the performance-enhancing substance meldonium in Australia in 2016, showed glimpses of the tennis that made her a five-time major victor.

"My first priority is always the health", said Halep, who estimated she had suffered at least five ankle injuries in 2017.

She has yet to win a Grand Slam but has reached the final of the French Open twice, including earlier a year ago.

Australian Open: Halep sweeps past Bouchard