Australian Open: Simona Halep gains revenge on Iga Swiatek, to face Serena Williams in QFs

Simona Halep gained revenge on Sunday as she defeated the French Open Champion Iga Swiatek with a comeback three-set victory, setting up a blockbuster quarter-final with Serena Williams at the Australian Open.

The world number two won just three games against the 19-year-old in the first set but turned the tide 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 in an hour and 50 minutes match at the Rod Laver Arena.

“I knew she would hit strong, but after the first set I tried to make her run and she started to miss,” said Halep, who hit 19 winners.

Halep’s next challenge is the 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams, who she beat the 2019 Wimbledon final.

“It’s always tough to think about playing her,” said the world number two. “I will try to enjoy myself and I can only beat Serena if I play my best.”

Earlier in the game, Halep was aggressive but 15th seed Swiatek exhibited some amazing defensive skills while defending the attacks.

The Romanian rued squandering two break points in the seventh game and played a loose service game to hand the advantage to a confident Swiatek, who claimed her 21st consecutive set in a Grand Slam.

However, the 19-year-old’s confidence was dented when she lost her serve in the third set’s opening game with a double fault but fought back to level up.

She was unable to consolidate, dropping serve to love, as Halep clinched the quarter-final ticket.

Halep, 29 is seeking a maiden triumph at Melbourne Park having fallen short in a 2018 decider against Caroline Wozniacki.

Last year, she was stunned after a straight-set loss to Garbine Muguruza in the semi-finals.

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