Cool Halep fights into Open quarter-finals

Simona Halep advanced to the Australian Open quarter-finals after beating Iga Swiatek in three sets.
Simona Halep advanced to the Australian Open quarter-finals after beating Iga Swiatek in three sets.

A composed Simona Halep engineered a classy fightback to exact revenge on Iga Swiatek and charge into the Australian Open quarter-finals.

The Polish teenager overwhelmed Halep in the fourth round in Paris four months ago en route to her first major title and looked like repeating the dose at Melbourne Park on Sunday night.

Swiatek claimed the first set but lost control amid a flurry of unforced errors - a total of 42 to Halep's 17 - as the Romanian second seed held her nerve to advance with a 3-6 6-1 6-4 win.

"It was a tough match," Halep told the Nine Network.

"I knew that I had to change something (after the first set) because I was hitting too strong and too flat, so I just had to roll the ball more.

"I think I moved her a bit better and that's why she started to miss a little bit more and probably she lost the rhythm and I got back in the game."

Halep, a two-time major winner, has never won a title at Melbourne Park but was an Open semi-finalist last year and runner-up in 2018.

The 30-year-old will now take on 23-time grand slam champion Serena Williams, who has won nine of their 11 career meetings.

"Legend - she is the best," Halep said.

"I don't have to focus that much when I play against Serena because it's always tough to think about that.

"But I have experience, I have so many matches against her, and I will just try to enjoy myself and try my best.

"You can only beat Serena if you play your best."

Australian Associated Press