2
0
1

Halep Off To Fast Start

No.4 seed Simona Halep raced past Alisa Kleybanova and into the second round of the French Open.

Published May 27, 2014 12:13

Halep Off To Fast Start
Simona Halep

PARIS, France - Fifty-six minutes was all it took for No.4 seed Simona Halep to book her place in the second round of the French Open with a 6-0, 6-2 win over Alisa Kleybanova.

The Plot
Twelve months ago, Halep was ranked outside the Top 50 and fell in the first round of Roland Garros to Carla Suárez Navarro. Since then, a meteoric rise has seen her establish herself amongst the game's best and also amongst the favorites for this year's title. For Kleybanova, it is an achievement in itself that she reached Paris at all, following her successful battle with Hodgkin's lymphoma.

The Turning Point
Halep ran out a comfortable winner in the most recent meeting between the two, at the tail end of last season in Moscow, and from the outset she looked hell-bent on posting an even more dominating scoreline this time around. The first set lasted a mere 25 minutes and until a late rally from Kleybanova the second looked like it would be even briefer. Unfortunately, for the Russian, it was a case of too little, too late, and her belated resistance came to an end when she ballooned a forehand long.

Quotes
"It was amazing to play on Chatrier. It was my first time on this court - it's so big," Halep said. "I had a bit of experience because I practiced two times here, and also the Kids' Day two days ago.

"It was nice. I had a good feeling and am glad I started the tournament so well. For the first time in my career, I was pretty relaxed for the first round of a major and I'm happy that I could beat her in two sets.

"I think I did well today. And she's a great player on clay. But today I felt really good and I had a good feeling with the ball and with my game. Now I need to keep focused for the next round."

What's Next
Halep will face Heather Watson in the second round. The two met at last year's US Open, when Watson came within a handful of points of victory - an encounter Halep remembers well. "I could not forget," she said, "because I played around three hours and 30 minutes. She was very strong and it was a difficult match. But here it is on clay, so it will be different. Another day, another match."

Share this page!

Related news

  • Insider Podcast: Coaching With Cahill

    May 26, 2016
    WTA Insider Courtney Nguyen | Darren Cahill, coach to Simona Halep, opens up about the Romanian's game and his own coaching philosophy as his charge plays at Roland Garros.
  • Serena Puts On Pereira Masterclass

    May 26, 2016
    World No.1 Serena Williams needed little more than an hour and dropped just three games on her way to a near-flawless victory over Teliana Pereira to move into the third round of Roland Garros.
  • Mladenovic Sets Up Serena Meeting

    May 26, 2016
    No.26 seed Kristina Mladenovic thrilled the home court crowd with a two-set win over former doubles partner Timea Babos; top seed Serena Williams looms in the third round.
To The Top
3