Australian Open: A lookahead to Friday, recap of Thursday

Australian Open: A lookahead to Friday, recap of Thursday

Halep was in clinical touch on Margaret Court Arena, dispatching the Canadian 6-2 6-2 in one hour and five minutes to set up a date with unseeded American Lauren Davis.

Sixth seed Karolina Pliskova progressed to the Australian Open second round with a straight-set victory over Paraguay's Veronica Cepede Royg.

Speaking after the match, Halep said "I think I played pretty well tonight". "I think I deserve to smile out there after that victory".

And she finally reached number one in October a year ago.

The top seed had fallen at the first hurdle in the past two years at Melbourne Park and another shock was beckoning when the big-hitting Australian took a 5-2 lead in the first set buoyed by rowdy home supporters.

Pera will next play No. 20 Barbora Strycova, who beat Lara Arruabarrena 6-3, 6-4.

In the next round, she will face a tougher test against Anastasija Sevastova, who beat her in the fourth round of the US Open.

She is 1-3 against her first round opponent, Madison Brengle - although the first two losses were via retirement, and the Briton won their most recent match 6-4, 6-0 in the first round of Indian Wells in 2016.

Maria Sharapova, one of only two previous winners in the women's draw, is back on Rod Laver Arena for the first time in two years.

Three of Canada's tennis stars have now been eliminated from the Australian Open.

In the upset on a scorching day 4, Chinese Taipei's 82nd ranked Hsieh Su-Wei ousted reigning Wimbledon champion and third seed Garbine Muguruza in straight set, 7-6 (1) 6-4 in the second round at Rod Laver Arena. She will play in the third round against Angelique Kerber, the 2016 champion, who beat Donna Vekic 6-4, 6-1.

Gael Monfils will know what it's like to be an underdog in his match Thursday against six-time champion Novak Djokovic - the Frenchman has lost all 14 matches against the former No. 1.

Melbourne is expected to turn up the heat on Thursday, with temperatures forecast to reach 39 Celsius - 102 degrees Fahrenheit.

"I played very well and I moved very well".

Former Australian Open semifinalist Johanna Konta has been knocked out of the tournament in the second round by American lucky loser Bernarda Pera 6-4, 7-5.

No. 17-seeded Keys, the runner-up at the U.S. Open, had a 6-1, 7-5 win over Wang Qiang.

Her ranking slid into the 20s in 2017, but she's coming back into the kind of form that won her a title in Sydney last week and makes her a strong contender at Melbourne Park.

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