Thursday, November 23, 2017

Halep dashes new mum Azarenka's comeback dreams

  • >> Reuters
    Published: 2017-07-10 21:16:17 BdST


Simona Halep sent new mum Victoria Azarenka packing 7-6(3), 6-2 in the fourth round on Monday as a litany of second-set errors put paid to the Belarussian's dreams of a fairytale Wimbledon comeback.

Azarenka, playing in her second tournament after the birth of her son Leo in December, out-hit and out-thought the second-seeded Romanian for much of a pulsating first set, mixing deep groundstrokes with frequent dropshots and forays to the net.

But the two-time semi-finalist at the All England Club began to flag in the first-set tiebreak, losing it 7-3 before conceding the next five games.

A mini fightback pegged the second-set deficit back to 5-2 before another Azarenka backhand groundstroke error saw Halep home in just under 90 minutes, keeping alive the Romanian's hopes of a maiden Grand Slam victory and an ascent to the world number one ranking.

Halep will face Britain's Johanna Konta in the quarter- finals.