New On-Paper Favorite Halep Moves On
Published June 28, 2014 12:13
LONDON, England - Third-seeded Simona Halep, who now finds herself the highest seed remaining at Wimbledon, was a straight set winner over Swiss No.1 and WTA Rising Star Belinda Bencic in third round action on Saturday.
Seventeen-year-old Bencic, the 2013 Wimbledon junior champion and the youngest player in the Top 100, had been successful so far in her first outing here as a pro - as she was through to the third round at a Grand Slam for the first time.
Halep was playing Wimbledon for the fourth time and was into the third round at the All-England Club for the first time, though she was looking for a better performance than on Friday when she needed three sets to get past Ukrainian qualifier Lesia Tsurenko.
The Turning Point
Halep managed just one break in the first set, but it was enough for a 6-4 win. The Romanian was in better form in the second set, breaking in Bencic's first service game and three times altogether in the 24-minute set. When all was said and done, it was a 6-4, 6-1 victory for Halep.
By The Numbers
Halep broke Bencic's serve four times and fought off all three break points on her own serve. She also had 11 more winners and two less unforced errors than Bencic.
Halep plays Kazakh Zarina Diyas, who was triumphant over 2010 Wimbledon runner-up Vera Zvonareva in three sets in her third round match. Nevertheless, this was still the first event in which Zvonareva won consecutive matches since the Olympics almost two years ago - as a right shoulder injury kept her out of action after those Olympics until the start of this season.
In her Wimbledon debut, Diyas will be contesting her first Grand Slam fourth round when she takes on Halep, who beat her in straight sets in their lone previous meeting in the third round of the Australian Open earlier this year.