In what could prove to be a enthralling match-up, Simona Halep will continue her quest to lift her maiden Grand Slam title with a fourth round contest against a player who has never lost to her in professional competition, Yanina Wickmayer. This will be the fourth time that the two cross paths on the tour, with Wickmayer leading the head-to-head series 3-0.
The Romanian had another straightforward match this week in Melbourne, this time against Mattek-Sands. She broke four times to win the match 6-4, 7-5 in exactly 91 minutes of court time. She struck 29 winners, 3 aces and won 79% of her first service points to advance to the final 16 unscathed. She had slight difficulty serving out the match but managed to do so on the second attempt. She will now go up against a stiffer challenge – one she is yet to overcome in her career.
“She beat me every time when I played her, but next round will be a new day. I have my chance to win it. But I expect a very tough match. She’s very tall and she’s very strong. So I have to wait and to prepare myself to be ready before the match.”
While it may technically be considered an upset due to the difference in the rankings, but few expected Sara Errani to actually defeat Yanina Wickmayer in their third round match-up on Friday. While the Italian won the opening set, her Belgian adversary rallied back to win the match 4-6, 6-4, 6-3. She hit a grand total of 54 winners, including 2 aces and won 61% of her first service points to close out the match in 2 hours and 14 minutes.
This marks the fourth time that Halep and Wickmayer cross paths on the tour and may be their most intriguing encounter yet. While Wickmayer maintains a stranglehold over the series, she has not faced Halep since 2012, and the Romanian is a far different competitor now. She may be en route to her first ever loss to Halep.
Prediction: Simona Halep in Three Sets