Bitter disappointment for Romania’s Simona Halep (in picture) after she went down in just 47 minutes in the first Grand Slam tennis event of the year – the Australian Open. In the final first round match for Romania’s women in the singles competition, American Sloane Stephens beat Simona 6 – 1, 6 – 1. The match didn’t live up to expectation: both players are young and up and coming, Simona Halep is a former junior world number one and Sloane Stephens had a breakthrough year in 2012, reaching her highest ever world ranking – 38. Sloane had her first seeding in Grand Slam event, put in at 25, and with Simona ranking 45 in the world, a much closer match was expected.
Sloane Stephens started strongly and remained in control, losing only nine points in the entire first set. She was hitting far more outright winners than the Romanian, who also made a lot more unforced errors than her opponent during the match. It all added up to a pretty one sided affair. Simona managed to break Sloane’s serve in the second, but was broken back in the following game and from thereon, she didn’t threaten the American again.
With the first round finished, Romania has two players through to the second round of women’s singles in Melbourne, Sorana Cirstea and Irina Camelia-Begu. Meanwhile, Monica Niculescu and Edina Gallovits-Hall also lost their first round games, but could be considered a little unlucky in the draw, facing last year’s champion Victoria Azarenka and number three seed Serena Williams.
Watch highlight of the Sloane Stephens vs Simona Halep match below
Liam Lever, firstname.lastname@example.org