2016 Wimbledon: Simona Halep wins through
Romania’s Simona Halep, tournament’s fifth seeded player, survived a spirited challenge of Kiki Berten of Netherlands to march on to the fourth round with a straight set victory in which the stiff battle was in the first set.
Simona broke her opponent’s serve, in the sixth game of the first set when the Dutch lady served at 15-40. She delivered a good serve that was returned so aggressively by Halep that Berten hit a backhand shot wide.
Halep lost the first point in the seventh game as she attempted to consolidate her lead. Bertens had the chance to go up on the next point when she pushed Halep wide to the right side and got a weak floater to put away but missed. She got a consolation when Halep netted a backhand to face break point and Berten got a break of serve to reduce the tally 4 games to 3.
In the eighth game, Berten continued the run of points taking the first three on her serve. At game point she delivered a hard serve that just missed the service line; then the first double fault of the match. However, on the next point, she took the game courtesy of a net-cord ball that did that did not rise on Halep’s side.
In the crucial ninth game, Halep took the odd points and eventually won to go ahead. Serving to stay in the set, Berten lost the first two points, and then Halep hammered a shot ball down the line to have three set points. Berten saved one but lost the game to hand the first set to Halep 6-4.
In the second set, Halep opened serving and she continued a run of 7 straight points since the preceding set. She took the game to lead 1-0 and broke her opponent’s serve at love to lead 2-0. She extended the lead to 3-0 and her opponent needed to hold the 4th game. Berten missed the first delivery.
Following a weak second serve that was sent back at her, she netted a backhand to lose the first point. She recovered after claiming the second point on a backhand error by Halep and delivered the first ace of the match to level 30-all. The rising hope was dashed when a double fault put her at break point, which she cancelled. She got the advantage point and served a winner to claim the game.
A rejuvenated and more relaxed Halep held on to the lead and stepped up to serve for the second set at 5-3. She dropped only one point before closing out the game and taking the set -3.
She would next face Madison Keys of the United States.
Nigeria’s Chuka Momah, a past Chairman of the (then) Nigerian Lawn Tennis Association, was in his regular seat in the Box reserved for the attending presidents of tennis association in member nations of the International Tennis Federation. Up Nigeria!