American player Shelby Rogers defeated Romanian star Simona Halep 6-3, 6-1 on Monday, in the first round of the Australian Open.
This is the second straight first-round loss at this tournament for Halep, as she also was also eliminated at the same stage last year, by Chinese Zhang Shuai.
"Rogers played well, she was at a high level. I had knee pain. It was very difficult for me to move in the second set, but she deserved to win. She was aggressive and hit hard," Simona Halep said after the match.
She added that she may take a break from competitions in the following period to let her knee heal. "I may not play for a while. I just want to get better as my knee is very sensitive wight now. It's the first time I have a knee problem and I don't want to make it worse."
Another Romanian tennis player, Patricia Tig, was also eliminated from the first round of the Australian Open. She was defeated 6-0, 6-1 by Olympic champion Monica Puig.
However, two Romanian players made it to the second round of the tournament. Irina-Camelia Begu beat Kazakhstan’s Iaroslava Shvedova 5-7, 6-3, 6-4 in the first round, while Sorana Cirstea defeated Russian Irina Khromacheva 6-2, 6-1. In the second round, Cirstea will play against Spain's Carla Suarez Navarro.
The Australian Open takes place in Melbourne, Australia, between January 16 and January 29, being the first Grand Slam of the year. The tournament has total money prizes of over USD 16.5 million.
Irina Popescu, email@example.com
(Photo source: 2017.ausopen.com)