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Halep starts well at Citi Open

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Originally published on 01/08/17 00:00

The Romanian, a wildcard entry, edged a keenly-contested opener before dominating a one-sided second set. Stephens, a former champion in the American capital, showed fleeting glimpses of her quality but she will hope for a more favourable draw in Toronto as she continues her comeback from a lengthy injury lay-off.

“I can say that it was a very tough first set,” remarked Halep after her first outing since Wimbledon. “I was missing too much but she also played some great points. For the first round and first match on a hard-court, though, it was not that bad. Second set was much better, and I feel much better now.”

"I’ve played a certain way for a long time, and to make errors that I normally wouldn’t make, even though I haven’t played in a year, is still very frustrating,” said Stephens. “It’s just hard coming back. You don’t really know what to expect from yourself. I didn’t play badly, I played the No. 2 player in the world.”

Halep will take on Mariana Duque-Marino in the second round later this week.

Elsewhere on the grounds, Patricia Maria Tig defeated Heather Watson 7-6(4) 7-6(3), Monica Puig overcame Louisa Chirico 6-4 6-4 and Ekaterina Makarova downed Jamie Loeb in straight sets.

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