Simona Halep was on the brink of defeated in the second round of the Australian Open, while Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka eased into the third round on Wednesday.
Second seed Simona Halep won five straight games to rally from 2-5 down in the third set and beat Ajla Tomljanovic 4-6 6-4 7-5 in 2 hours and 34 minutes. The world No.72 Tomljanovic outplayed her opponent, but got tight when she was supposed to grab the victory, as Halep showed why she’s a Grand Slam champion and a former world No.1.
Tenth seed Serena Williams raced past Serbia’s Nina Stojanovic 6-3 6-0 and has now lost a total of just five games in her first two rounds at the 2021 Australian Open. Naomi Osaka faced no break points in a 6-2 6-3 win over Caroline Garcia.
Top 10 players Petra Kvitova and Bianca Andreescu lost in the second round. The ninth-seeded Kvitova made 44 unforced errors to just 21 winners and fell to Romania’s Sorana Cirstea 6-4 1-6 6-1. Cirstea, who was one of the most vocal players complaining about hard quarantine, is amazed by her today’s performance:
I think it’s impressive to come out of 15 days without hitting a ball and competing the way I did today, I wasn’t expecting it.
Andreescu gave her all but left the court disappointed. The Canadian’s her current maximum wasn’t enough to defeat Hsieh Su-Wei, as the tricky Taiwanese celebrated a 6-3 6-2 victory.
Venus Williams rolled her ankle late in the first set against Sara Errani and even though the issue was serious, the American played on. Resisting the urge to quit the match, Williams made it to the finish line, but without success, as Errani won 6-1 6-0. Visibly in distress, Williams called for two medical timeouts, one to receive treatment on the ankle and the other one for her already taped left knee.
It was a fantastic match. Tomljanovic had it in the bag at 5-2 in the last set but she choked and lost her serve and that was the end of it. It was sad for her because she was actually the better player until that point. I guess that’s why Halep is a champion, because she doesn’t lose her nerve.
CLT, Ajla was so close to winning, this loss is a big blow to her. She was really upset. Did you see how her boyfriend Matteo Berrettini was consoling her after the match? It was really cute.
This is sadly the story of Ajla’s career and we could all see it happening. Simona new, we all knew and sadly I think Ajla knew it was coming. I think she needs to hire a sports psychologist and work on her capacity to close out big matches. That being said I thought she played well and only really had 1 bad game at the end there. Halep after all is the world number 2.
Well, Matteo Berrettini would be some consolation!