Halep survives date with Destanee to reach second round

Wednesday, 17 January 2018 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

MELBOURNE (Reuters): World number one Simona Halep flirted with another early exit from the Australian Open before rallying to reach the second round with a 7-6(5) 6-1 victory over local teenager Destanee Aiava on Tuesday.

The Romanian was taken to the edge by the powerful 17-year-old Melburnian in a 73-minute first set and turned her ankle at the start of the second, but returned with the joint strapped up to claim what was ultimately a comfortable victory.

Scuttling around the Rod Laver Arena court and keeping Aiava moving as much as possible with her accurate shots, top seed Halep grew more assured as her opponent grew more flustered and secured the win when her opponent sent a forehand wide. Halep, who has been knocked out in the first round in four of her last six visits to Melbourne Park but reached the quarter-finals in the other two, will next meet former Wimbledon finalist Eugenie Bouchard.