Halep and Azarenka into fourth round

Simona Halep eased into the fourth round of the US Open with a straight-sets 6-2, 6-3 victory over American Shelby Rogers.

The second seed needed just 66 minutes to see off Rogers, who came through qualifying, to set up a fourth round encounter with Sabine Lisicki.

Halep put a lot of pressure on the Rogers serve early on, and she was rewarded with two breaks of serve that saw her take the set 6-2 in just over half-an-hour.

The Romanian was able to break early in the second set to consolidate her advantage, and while she stumbled when serving for the match, it was only a minor blip before completing a 6-2, 6-3 victory.

Twentieth seed Victoria Azarenka joins Halep in the fourth round after downing Angelique Kerber of Germany 7-5, 2-6, 6-4 in what was a top-quality encounter, perhaps the best that the women's draw has provided thus far.

It was Kerber who broke first in the opening set, and the 11th seed served for the match at 5-3. However, Azarenka showed great grit and determination to break back on her way to winning four consecutive games to take the set 7-5.

Kerber bounced back from the disappointment of seeing the set slip by her by breaking Azarenka early on as she forced a decider by claiming the second set 6-2.

The German could not carry that momentum into the third set though, and it was Azarenka who broke first to seize the initiative. Kerber was unable to fight her way back into the contest and Azarenka served out the set to take the honours in a titanic battle which lasted two hours and 52 minutes.

Varvara Lepchenko awaits Azarenka in the fourth round after the an unseeded American beat Mona Barthel of Germany 1-6, 6-3, 6-4.

Earlier, fifth seed Petra Kvitova wasted little time in reaching the fourth round as she downed up-and-comer Anna Karolina Schmiedlova 6-2 6-1.

Comments