Halep into last 16 at Australian Open | Ralph Lauren

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Simona Halep cast aside her second-round stumble to move into the last 16 of Australian Open with an impressive 6-1 6-3 win over Veronika Kudermetova.

The No.2 seed’s campaign looked almost over on Wednesday when she slipped to 2-5 in the deciding set against Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic.

But that ill-discipline appeared a distant memory on Friday night, the two-time grand slam champion easing through her contest against the 32nd seed in just 79 minutes.

Looking more like the player that peeled off five games to get over the line against the Australian than the one who was two points from exiting the slam, the Romanian started in commanding fashion.

She reeled off a similar run to go from 1-1 in the opening set against the Russian to have it in the bank after 31 minutes.

Things got a little more complicated in the second.

The 2018 Australian Open runner-up found herself down a break at 3-2 only to strike straight back after some of her trademark defence kept her in the game.

She then won the next three games to close out the match.

Kudermetova, who had been in excellent early-season form with a run through to the Abu Dhabi final just last month, continued to push hard but was often let down by her first serve which finished at just 42 per cent.

She does however exit with her equal-best grand slam showing.

Halep will now play the winner of the late match between defending French Open champion Iga Swiatek and France’s Fiona Ferro.


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