By: Mike McIntyre
Photos: Jimmie48 Tennis Photography
There were plenty of questions surrounding World No. 1 Simona Halep heading into her second round match against Canada's Genie Bouchard. She toughed out an opening round win over young Australian Destanee Aiava but suffered an ankle injury in the process.
Bouchard had ended her 6 match losing streak with her first round victory against Oceane Dodin. Halep was a big step-up from that level of competition despite the fact that the Aussie Open is the only Slam where Bouchard has performed at the best over her career.
Halep won the match 6-2, 6-2 and will next face American Lauren Davis who is ranked 76th in the world.
For Bouchard it is back to the drawing board as her career limbo continues. She has a lot of work ahead of her if she wants to maintain her status as the No. 1 Canadian woman.
U.S. Open finalist Madison Keys has advanced to the third round after her 6-0, 6-1 dismantling of Ekaterina Alexandrova.
Russia's Elena Vesnina was facing an up-and-coming player in Japan's Naomi Osaka. The 31 year old couldn't handle the game of her younger opponent on Wednesday.
The 20 year old Osaka won 7-6(4), 6-2 but will have her hands full against Australia's own Ashleigh Barty next.
One of only two players who has even been to the Australian Open final (and won it in 2016), Angie Kerber continued her impressive start to 2018 and improved to 11-0 (including the Hopman Cup) with her 6-4, 6-1 win against Donna Vekic.
The only other previous finalist and winner left in the women's draw is Maria Sharapova who avenged her U.S. Open loss to Anastasija Sevastova with a straight set win 6-1, 7-6(4). Sharapova will now provide THE match of the third round when she faces the previously mentioned Kerber.