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Halep wins battle of the big guns

 

Simona Halep
Simona Halep

By Jonathan Veal

In a match of former Grand Slam champions and World No.1s, No.7 seed Simona Halep eased past Victoria Azarenka 6-3 6-1 and into the round of 16 at Wimbledon.

From a 3-1 deficit early on, the former French Open champion won six straight games to take command against the two-time Australian Open champion on Centre Court, ultimately easing to victory in just 66 minutes.

"I'm very satisfied. I think it was my best match this year. I played really well. I felt actually very confident. I've been aggressive all the match, even if I was 3-1 down first set," Halep said.

"I expected a tough one. I expected she's going to play well and she's going to hit strong, so I knew that. I was ready for the match. I'm really happy that I could win against a player like Vika because she's a great one."

Halep hit 13 winners to just nine unforced errors in the match as Azarenka grew more erratic, with the Belarusian totaling 33 unforced errors to just 13 winners.

Azarenka was looking for her first win against Halep in seven years, having now lost three straight matches to the Romanian, and two straight at Wimbledon.

"I started a couple of games feeling pretty good and stuff and just couldn't find the court," Azarenka said. "I missed just way too many easy shots, and those things you can't afford, you know, against top players."

• Andy Murray and Serena Williams will have to wait to make their Wimbledon mixed doubles debut after their opening match was postponed last night.

The multiple Grand Slam champions were due to begin their partnership against Andreas Mies and Alexa Guarachi on Centre Court.

But with Cori Gauff and Polona Hercog going into three sets in the final scheduled match on there, and Williams in early action in the singles today against Julia Goerges, organisers announced they would not play.

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