Melbourne Summer Set: Simona Halep off to a winning start

Second seed Simona Halep reached the quarter-finals of the Melbourne Summer Set 1 on Wednesday. The former world no. 1 defeated Australian qualifier 6-4, 6-2 in an hour and 18 minutes in what was her opening-round match.

Halep broke Aiava’s serve four times while saving one of the two break points she faced. Halep will take on compatriot Elena-Gabriela Ruse in a Romanian derby for a chance to reach the semi-finals.

Meanwhile, third seed Veronika Kudermetova reached the second round with a 7-6(4), 7-6(6) in an hour and 58 minutes. The Russian will play Madison Brengle next. The American defeated Japanese qualifier, Nao Hibino 7-6(3), 7-6(4) in their first-round clash.

Hungarian qualifier Anna Bondar upset eighth seed Katerina Siniakova in their first-round match-up. Bondar won 7-5, 7-6(8) in an hour and 56 minutes. Bondar will play Anastasia Potapova next. The Russian came through her first-round match against wildcard Lizette Cabrera of Australia 5-7, 6-2, 6-2.

Melbourne Summer Set: Marta Kostyuk exits

Meanwhile, at the Melbourne Summer Set 2, American qualifier Claire Liu upset eighth seed Marta Kostyuk in the first round. Liu dropped the opening set to the Ukrainian but went on to post a 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 win after two hours and 28 minutes of play. In the second round, Liu will play Spain’s Nuria Parrizas Diaz. Parrizas Diaz won her first round against Australian wildcard Ellen Perez 6-3, 6-0, two minutes shy of an hour’s mark. 

Daria Kasatkina also reached the second round of the Melbourne Summer Set 2 after her opponent, fellow Russian, Anna Kalinskaya retired mid-match. Kasatkina was leading 6-1, 3-0 at the time. The third seed will play Madison Keys for a chance to reach the quarter-finals. The American won her opener against British qualifier Heather Dart, 6-3, 7-6(2) in an hour and 26 minutes. 

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