Victoria Azarenka was second on centre court at the Generali Linz Ladies tournament on Thursday, against the up and coming Romanian player ranked 46 in the world, Simona Halep, who has had some good wins this year and has a great backhand and some first rate and spectacular shots in her repertoire. However, this wasn’t by far enough to challenge the world no.1, who clinched the match in two easy sets 6-1 6-1.
The twenty one year Romanian started badly, with two double faults and let the world number one break in the very first game of the first set. Azarenka went on to hold, break and hold again, but in the fourth game she suddenly served two double faults and sent one forehand wildly out of court to give Halep a 40-0 lead which she duly held to get her name on the scoreboard, trailing 1-3. That was the only game she got in that set, as she was unable to hold her own service games and Azarenka’s powerful game was too much for her, taking the set 6-1 in 24 minutes.
Azarenka served first in the second set and held, but this time Halep held her own service game to level at 1-1 but, once again, that was the only game she got as the world number one pummelled her into submission and another 6-1 set, for a total time on court of 51 minutes to book her place in the last 8 against Petra Martic, who defeated Austrian wild card holder Patricia Mayr-Achleitner 6-2 3-6 6-0.
Also through to the quarterfinals is 5th seeded German player Julia Goerges after eliminating Romina Oprandi of Switzerland in straight sets 6-3 6-3. She will play Sofia Arvidsson of Sweden next, who overcame Czech Lucia Hradecka with a 6-4 7-6 (4) scoreline.