Australian Open 2018: Elise Mertens makes maiden major quarter-final in Melbourne
Belgium’s Elise Mertens progressed to her maiden grand slam quarter-finals in her first look in the Australian Open predominant draw, beating Croatian Petra Martic 7-6(5) 7-5 on Sunday.
At the outset, Mertens appeared set for a dominant win after racing to a 4-Zero lead in the primary set however Martic fought again with a mix of highly effective groundstrokes and wily sliced backhands.
Facing a break level whereas serving at 4-Zero, Mertens made a double fault, which began a irritating four-game skid for the Belgian.
Martic pressured a tiebreak and was trailing 2-3 when Mertens switched gears, ultimately clinching the opening set with a pointy forehand winner.
With momentum on her facet, Mertens was extra medical in the second set as she transformed three out of 4 break level alternatives to shut the match in underneath two hours.
Mertens, ranked 37th in the world, prolonged her successful streak to eight matches after defending her title on the Hobart International earlier this month.
“It’s been amazing, the good start of the year, no words to describe this feeling,” Mertens, who was unable to take part in the Australian Open qualifying final yr as she was nonetheless concerned in the Hobart International, stated in her on-court interview.
“First time in the main draw here, defended my Hobart title… it’s amazing. If you have a strong belief you can do something, you can get there.”
The 22-year-old ended up successful at Hobart final yr for her first WTA title and completed the season in the highest 40.
She will face both fourth seed Elina Svitolina from Ukraine or Czech qualifier Denisa Allertova in the quarter-finals.