In the Gippsland Trophy quarter-final, Ekaterina Alexandrova demolished Simona Halep 6-2, 6-1 in only an hour, advancing into the last four and sending Halep back to the practice court ahead of the Australian Open.
The Russian won over half of the return points to score five breaks from ten opportunities, defending five out of six break opportunities in her games to control the scoreboard and leave Simona far behind. Alexandrova had 18 winners and 20 unforced errors and left Simona on a pale 6-15 ratio, not enough for more than three games on her tally.
Interestingly, Halep kicked off the encounter with a break and a 2-0 lead, losing ground after that and dropping 12 of the next 13 games to propel the Russian over the top. Alexandrova broke back in game four with a forehand return winner to gain confidence, saved two break chances in the next one and wrapped up the set with more breaks in games six and eight following a tired backhand from world no. 2.
Ekaterina broke Simona in the second set's second game and again at 4-1 to increase the lead. Serving for the victory in game seven, the Russian held at 15 with a backhand down the line winner for an impressive triumph and a place in the last four.