Italian Open 2020: Simona Halep extends winning streak to 11 matches; Novak Djokovic beats Filip Krajinovic

Halep, who is actually on an 11-0 run overall stretching back to February, recovered an early break in the opening set and then overpowered her 29th-ranked opponent the rest of the way.

The Associated Press September 18, 2020 19:47:38 IST
Italian Open 2020: Simona Halep extends winning streak to 11 matches; Novak Djokovic beats Filip Krajinovic

Rome: World number one Novak Djokovic won a battle with fellow Serb Filip Krajinovic to advance to the quarter-finals of the Italian Open on Friday, while top-seeded Simona Halep improved to 7-0 in tennis’ restart with a 7-5, 6-4 win over Dayana Yastremska.

The 33-year-old came through 7-6 (9/7), 6-3 and next plays either Italian Lorenzo Musetti or Germany's Dominik Koepfer, who both came through the qualifying rounds.

The top seed is warming up on clay at the Foro Italico in Rome for the French Open in 10 days time, a tournament the 17-time Grand Slam winner claimed in 2016.

Djokovic — unbeaten this season before being disqualified from the US Open — double-faulted on the first of his three set points in the first-set tiebreak but a quick break in the second put him through in a tournament he has won four times.

Halep, who is actually on an 11-0 run overall stretching back to February, recovered an early break in the opening set and then overpowered her 29th-ranked opponent the rest of the way.

Having won a title in Dubai before the coronavirus pandemic, Halep marked her return with another trophy in Prague last month. She then skipped the US Open due to health concerns amid the pandemic.

Halep, who lost two straight finals in Rome to Elina Svitolina in 2017 and 2018, will next face either 10th-seeded Elena Rybakina or Yulia Putintseva.

Also on the red clay courts of the Foro Italico, defending champion Karolina Pliskova defeated Russian qualifier Anna Blinkova 6-4, 6-3 and will next play 11th-seeded Elise Mertens, who eliminated Montenegrin qualifier Danka Kovinic 6-4, 6-4.

In men’s action, 15th-seeded Grigor Dimitrov ended the run of 19-year-old Jannik Sinner with a 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 win.

Sinner, the Italian who had beaten third-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas in the previous round, missed an easy overhead smash into the net on Dimitrov’s fifth match point.

“A loss like that hurts. But I’ll try to take the positive aspects out of it,” Sinner said. “That wasn’t the end I wanted.”

Matteo Berrettini, the big-serving Roman who reached last year’s US Open semi-finals, beat fellow Italian Stefano Travaglia 7-6 (5), 7-6 (1) in a match where both players had the same amount of winners (17) and unforced errors (28).

With inputs from agencies.

 

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