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Simona Halep earns maiden win over Yanina Wickmayer, into Australian quarter-finals

Simona Halep broke her duck against Yanina Wickmayer as she qualified for the Australian Open quarter-finals.

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World number three Simona Halep beat Yanina Wickmayer for the first time in her career, triumphing 6-4 6-2 at the Australian Open on Sunday.

History was against Halep heading into the last-16 clash at Rod Laver Arena, having lost all three previous meetings against the Belgian.

But the 2014 French Open finalist ended that drought in relentless fashion as she reached the quarter-finals at Melbourne Park for the second consecutive year.

Next up for Halep, who had 23 winners and just 13 unforced errors, is 10th seed Ekaterina Makarova.

As well as never beating Wickmayer prior to Sunday's match, Halep had never claimed a set against the 25-year-old, but that has now changed.

The first break of serve came in the third game, with Halep forcing Wickmayer into a forehand error.

Halep then went up two breaks to love - 4-1 - after Wickmayer double faulted as the former earned three opportunities.

Wickmayer, though, did regain one of those breaks the very next game with some aggressive hitting from the baseline.

Halep had two set points in the ninth game on Wickmayer's serve, but failed to convert either as the Belgian stayed alive.

The Romanian was not to be denied on her serve, taking out the set to love after 46 minutes.

And the second set followed a similar script, with Halep breaking in the third game, only for Wickmayer to break back immediately to level the set at 2-2.

That is as good as it got for Wickmayer, who lost the next four games and the match.

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