The second half of third-round WTA matches was on Saturday’s schedule at the 2022 Australian Open. Top 20 players Simona Halep and Aryna Sabalenka advanced, while Danielle Collins kicked out the only teenager left in the draw.
Simona Halep needed just 65 minutes to crush Danka Kovinic 6-2 6-1 and advance to the fourth round without dropping a set.
The 14th-seeded Halep won eight straight games from 2-2 in the first set, as she dominated the only representative of Montenegro in the draw. With her upset of reigning US Open champion Emma Raducanu in the previous round, Kovinic made history as the first Montenegrin to make the third round of a Grand Slam.
Two-time major champion Halep has won all eight of her matches this season and now progressed to the second week in Melbourne for the fifth straight year. In her first three victories this week, she lost a total of just 12 games.
Among those remaining in the draw, the Romanian has won more titles (23) than any other player.
Second seed Aryna Sabalenka defeated No.31 seed Marketa Vondrousova 4-6 6-3 6-1 to win her third straight match from a set down at Melbourne Park and reach the fourth round. In her Saturday’s match, Sabalenka committed 10 double faults, bringing her total this week to 41.
Currently ranked No.2, Sabalenka can become the world No.1 during the Australian Open, but will need to reach at least the final with other results going her way.
One of a tournament-leading four Americans to play the third round in Melbourne, 27th seed Danielle Collins came back from a set and 4-2 down to see off the last teenager left in the draw, talented Dane Clara Tauson 4-6 6-4 7-5. The 28-year-old Collins’ Grand Slam breakthrough happened at the Australian Open in 2019, when she made the semifinals.
Oh, FFS! Clara Tauson was neither `kicked out` nor `seen off.` It took a worried and bad-tempered Collins three whole sets and, having been pushed by the Dreamy Dane all the way to 7-5 in the last, she shouldn`t feel too proud of herself. Watch Clara: she is unique amongst players for seeming, throughout every match, to be thinking of something else – but she isn`t.