Serena Williams made light work of Eugenie Bouchard to bring her unbeaten stretch at Melbourne Park to nine matches, booking her spot in the third round of Australian Open 2019 with a scrappy 6-2 6-2 win on Thursday night.
It wasn’t an easy match tonight,” said Williams, who will face Ukrainian teen Dayana Yastremska for a place in the last 16. “Genie has been to the finals of Wimbledon and the semifinals of other Grand Slams, so I said, ‘You’ve got to come out hot, come out firing.’
“I haven’t had many matches since last year, but it’s okay. I got to spend time with my daughter, and that matters the most to me. I’ve always been told that they grow up so fast, so I wanted to be able to take that time and say I spent it with her. It means a lot to me.”
Simona Halep earned her spot in the third round of Australian Open 2019 the hard way, battling back from a break down in the final set to fend off American 20-year-old Sofia Kenin for a 6-3 6-7(5) 6-4 win on Thursday.
What began as a cakewalk soon became a dogfight for the world No.1, who will face Venus Williams for a place in the fourth round. Kenin recovered from an error-strewn start to go toe-to-toe with Halep, battling back from a break down in the second set to force a tense decider that drew the best from both players.
“I’ve no idea how I won tonight,” said Halep, who claimed the last four games of the match from 2-4 down to seal the win, despite feeling some pain in her leg midway through the match.
“It’s so tough to explain what happened on court, but it was a very tough one against an amazing player. It was really difficult to stay there for every ball, to run so much. I got a little bit injured in the second set but I just fought, because I wanted to win and to come back here. Hopefully in the next round, I’ll play better and make a better match.”