Cool Halep fights into Open quarter-finals

·2-min read

A composed Simona Halep engineered a classy fightback to exact revenge on Iga Swiatek and charge into the Australian Open quarter-finals.

The Polish teenager overwhelmed Halep in the fourth round in Paris four months ago en route to her first major title and looked like repeating the dose at Melbourne Park on Sunday night.

Swiatek claimed the first set but lost control amid a flurry of unforced errors - a total of 42 to Halep's 17 - as the Romanian second seed held her nerve to advance with a 3-6 6-1 6-4 win.

"It was a tough match," Halep told the Nine Network.

"I knew that I had to change something (after the first set) because I was hitting too strong and too flat, so I just had to roll the ball more.

"I think I moved her a bit better and that's why she started to miss a little bit more and probably she lost the rhythm and I got back in the game."

Halep, a two-time major winner, has never won a title at Melbourne Park but was an Open semi-finalist last year and runner-up in 2018.

The 30-year-old will now take on 23-time grand slam champion Serena Williams, who has won nine of their 11 career meetings.

"I need my best tennis, yes, to win against her, but I'm not thinking of those (previous) matches," Halep told reporters.

"I don't expect two matches in a row the same way, so I'm ready for a long match.

"Also, I'm ready for everything, to face everything, but I know what to expect.

"So I will just be focused and do my game. (That) is the only one thing that I can do the best."

The result against Swiatek was Halep's 100th career win at grand slams.

"It's nice performance, and I'm happy that I touched that number," she said.

"Let's hope that I will have many more."