Tournament favorites and former No. 1s Naomi Osaka and Simona Halep both made it into the quarterfinals of the Gippsland Trophy Wednesday in Melbourne.
Osaka had to come from a set down to deny Brit Katie Boulter 3-6, 6-3, 6-1. The 3-time Grand Slam winner won 12 of the last 16 games after dropping the opener, and her win streak now stands at 13.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better, preparation match,” Osaka said. “I think it was very different from my first-round match. I can’t practice a match like this. So I’m very happy with how it went actually. Even though it was long, I think there are a lot of things that I learned in this match.”
Osaka will now face Irina Camilia Begu who upset Johanna Konta in a third set breaker.
Simona Halep eased into her quarterfinal with a 6-2, 6-4 victory over the feisty Laura Siegemund.
“I can say I’m happy. A little bit in the second set at the beginning I was with no energy, but then I stayed focused,” Halep said after the match. “I knew that she’s gonna change the rhythm a lot. She did that, many dropshots, but I was ready for it. I feel like I played much better than the first round.”
Next for Halep is Ekatarina Alexandrova who pulled the upset of the day beating French Open winner Iga Swiatek soundly 6-4, 6-2.
Elise Mertens beat Carolina Garcia and Elina Svitolina edged Jelena Ostapenko in three sets.
At the Grampians, first round winners were former Australian Open champion Angelique Kerber along with seeds Jen Brady and Anett Kontaveit. Sloane Stephens fell to promising Canadian Leylah Fernandez.
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