Serena Williams stormed into the fourth round of the Australian Open on Saturday after thumping Ukraine's Dayana Yastremska 6-2, 6-1 in two straight sets. "You did really well", Williams said as the two hugged. "You did unbelievable. Don't cry".
Changing pace and direction, using drop shots and with wonderful disguise on her ground strokes, Hsieh stunned Halep and Muguruza in grand slams previous year. Because while it's one thing to beat unseeded players to tears, it's another altogether to play the current world No. 1. Other men's seeds of note are No. 4 Alexander Zverev and No. 8 Kei Nishikori, while Venus Williams plays 25th-seeded Mihaela Buzarnescu.
Djokovic's victory means he is guaranteed to stay world number one when the new rankings are released after the tournament. She was certainly in commanding form against Venus on Saturday, but today will present a huge step up in quality.
The sixth seed required treatment for a stiff shoulder and neck but despite failing to serve out for victory, having won five games in a row in the decider, converted on her second match point.
0 for 12 Federer's success rate on break points against Tsitsipas. "I playing against a great champion". She believes that with time the game has changed a lot and she (Halep) no longer feels the pressure of facing someone with that big a name.
Serena has a big serve and powerful groundstrokes but Halep has the ability to run and chase everything and is likely to put more balls in play and test the American's patience and fitness. In their nine matches, Halep has won just once, and none of the last six.
"I think I'm getting there", came the reply. "I have to be smart, aggressive". She rushed to give her an uplifting message post-match, but critics claimed that Williams tends to show less class when she is losing.
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With those comments, Halep betrayed perhaps her biggest advantage. Although when Halep initially saw the draw, she might not have looked at it that way. "It's always great to play against Serena because every time I have to learn something from the match". "I will not super think about this because there is nothing to think, just go there and play natural and with confidence".
"Please welcome to the court, world No.1..." aired the MC. She's cruised into the fourth round for the loss of just nine games and didn't lose a set in the first week; those are the numbers that deserve your attention.
"In my opinion, to be No. 1 in the world and to be the best player in the world, it's a little bit different", Halep said. "I felt like she came out ready to go", the former world No. 1 added.
"I think I have to play similar, if I can", Halep said, referring to her clash against the victor of 23 Grand Slam titles.
"I played many times against her", said Halep. "I just felt with such a low position of the sun, the lights being switched on at 5 p.m. was completely unnecessary". She was [intimidating] when I was younger, but now I don't feel intimidated. I remember one time in particular against Venus at Wimbledon, as I was walking to the net, I started bawling.
At least that's what she needs to tell herself.