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Australian Open: Simona Halep eases past struggling Eugenie Bouchard

Eugenie Bouchard made 26 unforced errors as Simona Halep eased through to Round 3 at Australian Open, seemingly untroubled by her ankle.

tennis Updated: Jan 18, 2018 16:50 IST
Australian Open,Simona Halep,Eugenie Bouchard
Romania's Simona Halep reacts after beating Canada's Eugenie Bouchard in their women's singles second round on Day 4 of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne.(AFP)

Top seed Simona Halep marched into the third round of the Australian Open with a straight sets victory over Eugenie Bouchard.

Halep was troubled by an ankle injury in her first-round match against Destanee Aiava, but was moving freely on Margaret Court Arena as she wrapped up a 6-2 6-2 win on Thursday.

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The 112-ranked Bouchard held serve only once and made unforced errors, Halep capitalising to set up a meeting with Lauren Davis.

Halep, eyeing an elusive first Grand Slam success, was broken twice in her first three service games of a strange first set, but was too good for the former world number five.

The Romanian’s retrieving skills put Bouchard under pressure immediately, but after losing the opening game on serve, the Canadian’s positive approach enabled her break straight back, a fizzed forehand winner making it 1-1.

Both players appeared to be nervy, but they produced a contender for rally of the tournament in the third game, the favourite ending it with a rasping forehand and going on to claim a second break.

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Another vicious forehand put a prowling Halep a double-break up at 4-1 and although Bouchard hung in there and broke for a second time in the next game, she was a set down after blasting a bold attempted winner long.

There was a sense of deja vu when the first two games of the second set went against serve, but Halep’s athleticism and accuracy combined with a string of Bouchard errors ensured it was plain sailing for last year’s French Open runner-up.

Bouchard did manage her only hold to leave it 2-1, but Halep won the next five games to seal an emphatic victory in only 65 minutes.

First Published: Jan 18, 2018 15:38 IST