Elise Mertens after smooth qualifying: ‘Everything just got a little better’

Elise Mertens (WTA-16) easily qualified for the third round of Wimbledon singles on Wednesday evening.

The 25-year-old Limburger needed only 58 minutes on track 17 to beat 27-year-old Zhu Lin (WTA-99) of China 6-2, 6-0. In February last year, she had already knocked out Zhu at the Australian Open.

The Belgian number one, responsible for 22 winners and only 12 errors, said: ‘I felt a lot more comfortable than in my first game. He said, ‘I played more freely and I think it was necessary for me to prepare for the next match. I was really good in the second set. I didn’t give him a chance to come back like in the first round. I am very happy with the result. My first serve was more efficient (5 aces, 66% of first balls), which certainly makes for a lot. Everything got a little better, in fact.’

Mertens’ only concern in this match was falling on the grass, which could be a bit slippery this year, as it has rained in the UK in recent days. “I really lost my grip on the grass and had no way to stay upright,” Limburger explained. “The grass can be a bit slippery, especially when you have to run ahead, but you can see more and more sand from behind the track. So there’s a little less slippage. There are already one or two holes. I don’t know who played for me, but I think that guy took something every time he served. I haven’t fallen so many times. This is only the first time.’

Alice Mertens will now face 26-year-old Madison Keys (WTA-27), the 2015 quarterfinalist, and 27-year-old Lauren Davis (WTA-91) winner of an American duel on Friday.

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The 25-year-old Limburger needed only 58 minutes on track 17 to beat 27-year-old Zhu Lin (WTA-99) of China 6-2, 6-0. He had already knocked out Zhu at the Australian Open in February last year. “I felt a lot more comfortable than in my first match,” said the Belgian number one, who had 22 winners and only 12 errors. He said, ‘I played more freely and I think it was necessary for me to prepare for the next match. I was really good in the second set. I didn’t give him a chance to come back like in the first round. I am very happy with the result. My first serve was more efficient (5 aces, 66% of first balls), which certainly makes for a lot. Everything got a little better, in fact.’ Mertens’ only concern in this match was falling on the grass, which could be a bit slippery this year, as it has rained in the UK in recent days. “I really lost my grip on the grass and had no way to stay upright,” Limburger explained. “The grass can be a bit slippery, especially when you have to run ahead, but you can see more and more sand from behind the track. So it’s a little less slippery there. There are already one or two holes. I don’t know who played for me, but I think that guy took something every time he served. I haven’t fallen so many times. This is only the first time.’ Alice Mertens will now face 26-year-old Madison Keys (WTA-27), the 2015 quarterfinalist, and 27-year-old Lauren Davis (WTA-91) winner of an American duel on Friday.

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