Simona Halep has battled into the Australian Open quarter-finals for a fourth time with a 6-4 6-4 victory over Elise Mertens.
The Romanian has still yet to lose a set at this year’s tournament, as she looks to go one better than her best previous performance in Melbourne, which was runner-up to Caroline Wozniacki in 2018.
Mertens fought hard to recover early deficits in both sets but Wimbledon champion Halep, the runner-up here two years ago, held firm to record a straight-sets victory.
“It’s a great performance by myself to play again a quarter-final,” Halep said. “I’m really happy to go through.
“I knew I had to stay focused today. I was a little nervous at 4-3 but was strong enough to finish.”
Halep has pledged to donate A$200 to bushfire relief every time she gives her Australian coach Darren Cahill a hard time.
There will be a bit more to add to that pot after this match, but she admits she doesn’t yet have any idea of the total.
“Darren is counting the looks,” she said. “Was I worse than the last match? Yes. But it’s for a good cause.
“He said he would tell me the total at the end of the tournament.”
German exits after sloppy service display.
The story of a career – in numbers.
Colleagues hit the tribute trail.
What’s going on in tennis today?
Edmund continues fine recent form.
Nadal explains Aussie Open remarks.
Fourth seed Bencic into quarters, though.
Kevin Palmer on Maria Sharapova’s retirement.
Maria Sharapova announces her retirement from tennis.