Sports

Simona Halep Faces Wild Card in Australian Open First Round

Simona Halep Faces Wild Card in Australian Open First Round

Speaking after the match, Halep said "I think I played pretty well tonight".

'I had before last year, about five, this ankle during the years.

Simona Halep advanced to the third round of Australian Open.

"I hit the ball really well and it is alway tough against her as she hits hard from the baseline". Bouchard was playing the best tennis of her career that year, reaching semifinals at and French Open, and losing the Wimbledon final to Petra Kvitova.

The 32-year-old Su-Wei, who only has a 41-percent career win record, was advancing to the third-round of the Australian Open for the first time since reaching the fourth-round in 2008. The 19-time Grand Slam singles champion beat Jan-Lennard Struff in straight sets on grass at Halle in 2016.

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.

The 17th-seeded Madison Keys of the U.S. got past China's Wang Qiang 6-1, 7-5 while Latvian 14th seed Anastasija Sevastova beat American Varvara Lepchenko 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 set up a second-round meeting with Russian Maria Sharapova.

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- Goodbye 2017 - Fellow former world number one Angelique Kerber, who won the tournament in 2016, was also impressive in dismissing Anna-Lena Friedsam 6-0, 6-4. 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.

Ninth seeded Briton Johanna Konta skipped past Madison Brengle into the second round, overpowering the American 6-3 6-1 in 66 minutes on Hisense Arena.

The world No.1 had viciously rolled the ankle in question during her first round victory over Destanee Aiava, raising fears about her ability to participate, let alone compete against Bouchard out on Margaret Court Arena. She received treatment and went on to win the match but afterward said her troublesome ankles once again put her prospects in jeopardy.

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.

She will face unseeded American Lauren Davis on Saturday for a place in the last 16 as she steps up her quest for a first Grand Slam title. Although she believes will be able to play in the next round, she remains cautious.

Wimbledon victor Garbine Muguruza, defending champion Roger Federer and six-time Australian victor Novak Djokovic were also scheduled to play their second-round matches Thursday.


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