Birthday girl Halep sails through after slow start

PARIS: Romanian top seed Simona Halep started slowly before hitting top gear against Spaniard Sara Sorribes Tormo to celebrate her 29th birthday with a breezy 6-4 6-0 win in the opening round of the French Open on Sunday.

The former world No. 1, who won her maiden Grand Slam at Roland Garros in 2018, took her unbeaten run to 15, dating back to her Dubai victory in February shortly before the professional circuit shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Against an opponent she had never met before, Halep quickly found herself down 4-2 in the opening set but the Wimbledon champion shifted gears and won the next eight games to complete the victory in an hour and 22 minutes.

Halep completed the win on her second matchpoint when her 23-year-old opponent hit a forehand wide and will next meet the winner of Jil Teichmann and Irina-Camelia Begu. – Reuters

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