Second seed Simona Halep defeated error-prone Iga Swiatek 3-6 6-1 6-4 to earn her 100th Grand Slam match win and reach the quarterfinals of the 2021 Australian Open.
The reigning French Open champion Swiatek, who had won her last ten Grand Slam matches in straight sets, saved two break points in a tricky seventh game and then cruised through the rest of the first set as Halep literally handed it to her with unforced errors.
The 15th-seeded Swiatek that entered the second set was a different player from the one we watched earlier in the match. The Pole completely lost focus and Halep sailed through the set. In the decider, Swiatek recovered from 0-2 to 2-2, but she never really took control of her shots and Halep comfortably won this fourth-round match, serving it out at love.
Six Grand Slam champions and one Grand Slam finalist were featured in Sunday’s bottom-half fourth-round matches.
Halep’s quarterfinal opponent will be tenth seed Serena Williams, who overcame Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka 6-4 2-6 6-4.
Third seed Naomi Osaka recovered from a break down in the second set and saved two match points in the third set to overcome fellow former world No.1 and multiple major titlist Garbine Muguruza 4-6 6-4 7-5.
Osaka’s next opponent will be top-ranked doubles player Hsieh Su-Wei, who defeated 2019 French Open runner-up Marketa Vondrousova 6-2 6-4. Three-time Grand Slam doubles champion Hsieh has now become the oldest WTA player to make a Grand Slam quarterfinal debut in the Open Era.