Halep eases to victory
Despite her recent ankle trouble, Halep did not appear compromised or restricted as she dominated her opponent.
“It is always a pleasure to play here at Roland Garros,” said Halep. “Today was a great day for me and I really played well. It’s not easy to play Jana, she’s a tough opponent, but I did everything and I think my game went pretty well.”
Elina Svitolina is safely through to the second round as well as Halep after 6-4 6-3 win over Yaroslava Shvedova. The first set was a battle of the backhands however it was edged by the Ukrainian as her defensive skills came to the fore. The 22-year-old was eager to avoid becoming embroiled in a prolonged scrap, and her baseline consistency helped her secure victory in just 76 minutes.
“It was a very tough match,” admitted the No.5 seed. “First round is always very tough and we were both quite nervous, so I was very happy with the way that I handled the pressure. It’s the first time in my career that I have won four titles in a year – and two big ones [Dubai & Rome] – so it gives me a lot of confidence. I’m looking forward to my next match and we will see how it goes.”
Genie Bouchard, who seems to find another gear at Grand Slams, fought back to defeat Risa Ozaki 2-6 6-2 6-3. The Canadian – who reached the quarter-finals in Madrid – appears to be finding her range in time for the most hectic part of the season.
Madison Keys snapped a four match losing-streak with a 6-3 6-2 victory over Ashleigh Barty in just 61 minutes. It was a welcome return to winning ways for the American – who did not face a single break point.
The No.12 seed said: “In the first set, she was serving really well and I had just a handful of opportunities to break, and I didn’t quite get my teeth into all of those, but I was really happy with how I played in the second set. Overall, I’m really happy.”
Caroline Garcia thrilled the home supporters with a comprehensive 6-2 6-2 win over Nao Hibino. Sorana Cirstea, Carla Suarez Navarro, Taylor Townsend, Alison Van Uytvanck, Tatjana Maria, Marketa Vondrousova, Barbora Strycova and grass-court specialist Tsvetana Pironkova all recorded comfortable victories.
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