Simona Halep books fourth-round spot at French Open with battling victory over Andrea Petkovic
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Simona Halep books fourth-round spot at French Open with battling victory over Andrea Petkovic

World number one Simona Halep has not had an easy start to the French Open but she is through to round four after beating Andrea Petkovic.

tennis Updated: Jun 02, 2018 23:52 IST
Simona Halep,Andrea Petkovic,French Open
Romania's Simona Halep in action during her third round match against Germany's Andrea Petkovic.(REUTERS)

Simona Halep completed a battling opening week at the French Open with a 7-5 6-0 victory over Andrea Petkovic, securing the top seed’s place in round four.

The world number one has not had a simple passage into the latter stages of this year’s clay-court grand slam, with Petkovic putting in a valiant display on Court 18.

A straight-sets victory looks comfortable on paper but there were still errors in Halep’s game that Petkovic should have punished.

From the outset Halep was aggressive and on the attack, her forehand a particularly potent weapon that kept her opponent pinned behind the baseline.

However, her radar was not always working and too often she fired long, or dropped into the net with Petkovic on the run.

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First blood actually went the way of the German as Halep was broken in her first service game, Petkovic applying pressure with deep groundstrokes and quickly-taken volleys.

It strangely worked in Halep’s favour as she turned up the intensity, and with the score at 4-4 she got what should have been a crucial break – secured with a booming forehand down the line that Petkovic could not return.

When serving for the set Halep was wasteful from the baseline despite dictating play, however two games later she made no mistake to move ahead.

The pre-tournament favourite gained an early advantage in the second before Petkovic needed treatment to a jarred right knee, the world number 107 returning with extensive strapping.

Her game was noticeably hampered by the problem – even when the tape had been ripped off – which enabled Halep to control proceedings well from the baseline.

It quickly became a one-sided affair and Halep raced into the second week and a meeting with Elise Mertens.

First Published: Jun 02, 2018 22:15 IST