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Halep doubles up by destroying Williams in straight sets

AFP  |  Montreal 

World number one crushed seven time winner in straight sets at the WTA Montreal event just hours after a delivering a marathon three-hour victory over

Top seed Halep took no prisoners against Williams, blitzing the 38-year-old American 6-2, 6-2 in just 71 minutes to reach the quarter-finals.

Halep's match against Pavlyuchenkova was originally scheduled for Wednesday night but heavy rains forced organizers to postpone it until Thursday morning.

The Romanian needed three gruelling sets to oust the world No. 28 Russian but had a much easier time against veteran Williams who has yet to win a title in 2018.

Williams has struggled with her form this year and hasn't won a title since in 2008 when she beat sister in the final.

"It's never easy to play either of the Williams sisters, and even though she was struggling, I knew I had to be focused on every ball, and stay focused until the end," Halep said.

"She wasn't feeling great on the court and it definitely wasn't her best day. And I'm happy to be the quarter-finals now."

The reigning champion started quickly, winning the first two games en route to taking the opening set.

She also jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the second set and after a slight lull in the middle she rebounded to run away with the final four games. Halep won 77 percent of her first serve points and broke Williams' serve five times.

Halep next faces number six seed Caroline Garcia, who overwhelmed former World No.1 Maria Sharapova hours earlier.

Halep and Garcia met in the quarter-finals of this event last year when it was held in with Halep coming out the winner 6-4, 6-2.

Halep leads Garcia in their career head-to-head 4-1 as Garcia's only career win over Halep was a 6-4, 7-6 (7/3) victory in the final of the WTA Beijing tournament in October.

Williams also has to play twice in one day after Wednesday's rain-lashed programme.

The veteran 13th-seeded American moved into a clash against Halep with a 7-6 (7/4), 6-4 victory against Romania's Sorana Cirstea.

Williams won despite committing 30 unforced errors and seven double faults.

Aryna Sabalenka staged one of the biggest wins of her career, saving three match points en route to a 5-7, 6-2, 7-6 (7/4) upset of second seed

The 20-year-old saved three match points at 3-5 in the third set -- winning a backhand rally on the first, acing Wozniacki on the second, and crushing a winner that was set up by a big serve on the third.

- Three match points -


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"I didn't win any of the match points," Wozniacki said. "I had an opportunity. I didn't get it."

champion reached the quarter-finals with a rollercoaster 6-2, 7-5 win over Spain's

Third seed Stephens, building up to the start of the defence of her maiden title in later this month, squandered three match points at 5-1 in the second set.

That setback allowed Suarez Navarro to battle back to 5-5 before the American steadied herself to claim a third win in three meetings against the Spaniard after 90 minutes on court.

Stephens hit 34 winners to the qualifier's 13 and goes on to face of who beat German 10th seed 6-3, 7-6 (7/2).

Australian 15th seed also made the quarter-finals by seeing off of 7-6 (7/3), 6-4.

Cornet had knocked out champion in the second round on Wednesday.

Britain's saw off two-time Grand Slam champion and former world number one Victoria Azarenka, 6-3, 6-1, to move into the third round in a tie held over from Wednesday due to rain.

Konta returned to the court later Thursday and beat fifth seed of 6-3, 6-4 for a place in the last-eight.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, August 10 2018. 13:50 IST
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