Australian Open: Serena, Halep move up in contrasting style

Simona Halep
Top seed Simona Halep downed Sofia Kenin in three sets. Reuters
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Melbourne: Serena Williams soundly beat Eugenie Bouchard 6-2, 6-2 on Thursday night, racing through the last five games to advance to the third round of the Australian Open.

Easily beaten in the first set, the Canadian Bouchard, a former Wimbledon finalist who has been trying to retrieve her stellar form of five years ago, pressed early in the second to lead two games to one.

Serena responded in a dominant fashion, however, and did not drop another game on her way to ending the match with a drive-volley winner.

Serena Williams
Serena Williams soundly beat Eugenie Bouchard 6-2, 6-2. Reuters

The American is vying for a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam singles title, and will play Ukraine's Dayana Yastremska in the third round.

Top seed Simona Halep staved off a spirited challenge from American youngster Sofia Kenin to prevail 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-4 in the third round and set up a showdown with former world number one Venus Williams next.

The Romanian has struggled for form and fitness since her first-round defeat at the US Open last August and came into the year's first Grand Slam short of preparation after a back injury ended her 2018 season prematurely.

She broke the 20-year-old Kenin twice in the first set, but the American fought back in the second set from 3-0 down to level it at 1-1 in the tiebreaker.

Halep then got the crucial break in the third set to go up 5-4 and converted her second match point for the victory in two hours and 31 minutes.

Halep, who was on a five-match losing streak before the Australian Open, set up a third-round meeting with multiple Grand Slam winner Venus, who beat Frenchwoman Alize Cornet 6-3, 4-6, 6-0.Melbourne: Serena Williams soundly beat Eugenie Bouchard 6-2, 6-2 on Thursday night, racing through the last five games to advance to the third round of the Australian Open.

Easily beaten in the first set, the Canadian Bouchard, a former Wimbledon finalist who has been trying to retrieve her stellar form of five years ago, pressed early in the second to lead two games to one.

Serena responded in a dominant fashion, however, and did not drop another game on her way to ending the match with a drive-volley winner.

The American is vying for a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam singles title, and will play Ukraine's Dayana Yastremska in the third round.

Top seed Simona Halep staved off a spirited challenge from American youngster Sofia Kenin to prevail 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-4 in the third round and set up a showdown with former world number one Venus Williams next.

The Romanian has struggled for form and fitness since her first-round defeat at the US Open last August and came into the year's first Grand Slam short of preparation after a back injury ended her 2018 season prematurely.

She broke the 20-year-old Kenin twice in the first set, but the American fought back in the second set from 3-0 down to level it at 1-1 in the tiebreaker.

Halep then got the crucial break in the third set to go up 5-4 and converted her second match point for the victory in two hours and 31 minutes.

Halep, who was on a five-match losing streak before the Australian Open, set up a third-round meeting with multiple Grand Slam winner Venus, who beat Frenchwoman Alize Cornet 6-3, 4-6, 6-0.

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