LONDON – Simona Halep eked out a close three-set win over her fellow Romanian tennis player Mihaela Buzarnescu at Wimbledon on Wednesday.
Halep is to face off against another former world number one Victoria Azarenka of Belarus in the third round of the grass-court Grand Slam event.
The seventh-seeded player needed roughly two hours to edge a 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 win in the second-round encounter.
It was Buzarnescu who fired more winners (25), compared to Halep’s 12, but committing 44 unforced errors, which was much higher than her opponent Halep (19).
Both players traded their services across the three sets, but it was Halep who broke her opponent more, with a record of 9/14 – 6/9.
In other second-round action at the third major tournament of the season, Azarenka earned an easy 6-2, 6-0 win over Australian Ajla Tomljanovic, after just 63 minutes of play.
The Belorussian fired two aces and 15 winners on her way to the third round.
Meanwhile, third-seeded Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic exhibited her best tennis in her second-round encounter versus Monica Puig, easily beating the Puerto Rican in straight sets.
Pliskova, the 2019 Eastbourne champion, took an hour to beat Puig 6-0, 6-4, advancing to the third round.
“I feel like I’m improving with every day on grass, especially with the title in Eastbourne,” Pliskova said after her win.
“It helped me feel more confident and more used to the surface.
“I’m just happy to be in the third round, and hopefully I can go one more step.”
Pliskova is to take on 28th-seeded Hsieh Su-wei, who edged a 7-6 (7-3), 6-3 win over Belgian Kirsten Flipkens.
The other Czech Republic player, Karolina Muchova, also made the third round at the expense of Madison Brengle (6-3, 6-4), setting a clash against Estonian Anett Kontaveit who beat Briton Heather Watson (7-5, 6-1).
Furthermore, Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina, number eight, will face off against 31st-seeded Maria Sakkari of Greece in the third round, as they got past injured Russian Margarita Gasparyan and Marie Bouzkova of the Czech Republic, respectively.
China’s Shuai Zhang also booked a place in the following round after her 6-3, 6-2 win over Yanina Wickmayer of Belgium, after 64 minutes, and is pending the winner between Danish player Caroline Wozniacki and Russian lpro Veronika Kudermetova.