Former world number one player Simona Halep has looked fitter than ever this week in Melbourne, romping through to round 4 without dropping a set. She faces Alize Cornet who has been around the circuit for a while searching however for her first grand slam title. Now, both of these players are not known for their huge serves and it showed in the Ace count. Just one the entire match first game at 30-30. But both players are the most hard working unlazy players on Tour. Both have equal groundstroke game which made for an intriguing encounter. Halep was the first to crack on serve at 2-1,one short return was all it took for Alize to capitalize at 40-30 Halep. The volley was well executed, love the sixth sense the Frenchwoman has on whether to advance toward the net or not. Halep got back on serve straight away in the next game punishing some short returns , this time by Cornet. Now watch 3-2(40-15). Halep is the best one two punch players in the world she showed this with a well placed down the T serve. The match took a decisive turn in the eighth game, in it was my shot of the match. Watch 4-3(15-0), the passing shot from Cornet landing bang on the corner with Halep favorite for the point. Alize would break in that game but the pattern of service breaks wasn’t about to end there. They exchanged breaks in the next two for the Cornet 6-4 set one win.
Knowing that you need to win the next two sets to win a match can be a daunting thing psychologically. No room for error.The best thing for a player in such a position is to get the next break at all cost. Halep did just that., pinning Cornet to the baseline on the way to going 1-0 up in the second set. Watch 15-30. But with the way Simona was jittery on serve, the break back surprisingly came straight after. Two major unforced errors did Simona in on deuce. Simona went back to what she does best, grind out on the baseline until she gets an angle for the winner. From 3-1 she won the next 5 games to take us to a deciding set 6-3. The double fault at 5-3(40-0) by Cornet was one of 9, with Halep not getting a single DF. By the time the third set started, Simona looked spent. It wasn’t the first time players felt the Melbourne heat this week. Gael Monfils looked like he was going to give up with exhaustion again Kecmanovic yesterday, thankfully he finished and eventually won the game. Watch Simona after the 1-1(30-30), blisters on her hand? The heat plays a huge part in blisters .One needs to keep the moisture away during such conditions. Suggested are wrist sweat bands.Her movement was second to none in the first two games though to her credit, just watch 1-0 adv Cornet. The end game for Halep came at 3-3 Cornet 30-40. A routine backhand netted inexplicably(maybe the blisters starting have an effect). A small window for the comeback opened for the Romanian at 4-3 Alize 15-30 but that was shut again thanks to some great volleying from Cornet. Alize advanced to her first ever Grand Slam quarter final 6-4 in the third.