Medvedev goals to march on as resurgent Halep sweeps into final 16

Daniil Medvedev is stepping up his march in the direction of the Australian Open males’s title as former finalist Simona Halep sweeps into the second week in Melbourne.

Russia’s Daniil Medvedev hits a return towards Netherlands’ Botic Van de Zandschulp throughout their males’s singles match of the Australian Open on 22 January 2022. Image: AFP

MELBOURNE – World quantity two Daniil Medvedev was stepping up his march in the direction of the Australian Open males’s title as former finalist Simona Halep swept into the second week in Melbourne and Aryna Sabalenka overcame the serving yips on Saturday.

Halep swatted apart Danka Kovinic, the conqueror of US Open champion Emma Raducanu, 6-2, 6-1 in simply 64 minutes and can face French veteran Alize Cornet on Monday for a spot within the quarter ultimate.

The fit-again Halep got here into the event filled with confidence after her first title in 16 months earlier this month at a Melbourne warm-up occasion and was all the time in cost.

“I really feel nice that I can play the fourth spherical once more. I all the time like to play in Australia in order that’s why perhaps I play good matches,” stated Halep.

Seeded 14, Halep has been in insatiable kind, dropping simply 9 video games in her opening two matches, and he or she carried it into her conflict towards the 27-year-old.

Cornet slugged it out with Slovenia’s twenty ninth seed Tamara Zidansek for a 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 victory and stated she was simply glad to get by means of on a scorching day.

“It was largely about survival,” stated Cornet, who produced a surprising upset of world quantity three Garbine Muguruza in spherical two.

World quantity two Sabalenka overcame the serving issues which were plaguing her early season, however nonetheless wanted three units to get previous thirty first seed Marketa Vondrousova.

The Belarusian had served 70 double faults in her earlier 4 matches in 2022, however solely tallied 10 as she beat the Czech 4-6, 6-3, 6-1.

She now meets unseeded Estonian veteran Kaia Kanepi who overpowered Australian wildcard Madison Inglis 2-6, 6-2, 6-0.

“I am actually blissful proper now and largely blissful that I made solely 10 double faults,” stated Sabalenka, a semi-finalist final yr at each Wimbledon and the US Open.

American world quantity 30 Danielle Collins, who appears to boost her recreation in Melbourne the place she was a semi-finalist three years in the past, can be by means of to the final 16 after battling previous tenacious Danish teenager Carla Tauson 4-6, 6-4, 7-5.

LONG BATTLE

Collins, the twenty seventh seed, was a set and 1-3 down towards the rising star earlier than preventing again.

“It was a protracted battle and tremendous blissful to have the ability to pull it out,” stated Collins.

She now has a last-16 conflict towards the 2018 semi-finalist Elise Mertens, after the Belgian Nineteenth-seed cruised previous China’s Zhang Shuai 6-2, 6-2.

Within the males’s draw, US Open champion Medvedev cemented his standing as event favorite by overcoming the mercurial Nick Kyrgios in 4 units in a raucous second-round encounter.

Medvedev, the de facto high seed after Novak Djokovic was deported on the eve of the event, faces a extra standard opponent in Dutch world quantity 57 Botic van de Zandschulp for a spot within the final 16.

However he won’t take his opponent frivolously. “Grand Slams are powerful, there are going to be powerful opponents,” stated Medvedev.

Fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas is a possible semi-final opponent for Medvedev, however first he must get previous seasoned French world quantity 56 Benoit Paire on Rod Laver Enviornment.

The load of British expectation falls completely on the shoulders of twenty fourth seed Dan Evans after Andy Murray and Raducanu made early exits.

The final Brit standing had an sudden break day on Thursday when his French opponent Arthur Rinderknech pulled out with harm giving him a walkover into the third spherical.

Evans faces in-form ninth seed Felix Auger-Aliassime, who was a part of Canada’s ATP Cup-winning staff in Sydney earlier this month.

There’s an intriguing conflict between fifth seed Andrey Rublev of Russia and 2018 Melbourne Park finalist Marin Cilic of Croatia that has the potential to be a late-night traditional on Margaret Court docket Enviornment.

Cilic pushed Roger Federer to 5 units within the ultimate 4 years in the past and the big-serving twenty seventh seed is able to upsetting anybody.

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