Halep, Begu, Cristea advance to Australian Open second round
Romanian tennis players Simona Halep, Irina Begu and Sorana Cirstea advanced in the Australian Open second round, after beating their rivals.
Halep, seed no.14, has qualified for the second round of the Australian Open, the first Grand Slam of the year, after defeating Polish Magdalena Frech by 6 -4, 6-3, on Tuesday, in Melbourne.
Halep (30, WTA’s 15) sealed her victory over Frech (24, WTA’s 102) after one hour and 29 minutes of playing.
Halep secured a cheque of 154,000 USD dollars and 70 WTA points for her victory in the first round of the competition. She will meet the winner between Katie Volynets (US) and Beatriz Haddad Maia (Brazil) in the second round.
“The first match of the tournament is always difficult, I was nervous, I was unsure that I could play good tennis today, but in the end I won and that makes me very happy. This condition came from the injuries I had last year, so my confidence was not very high at the end of last year, now I just try to play the best tennis every time I enter the field. The week before was great and now I’m just looking to be better than I am today. It was a good opportunity to play on these fields (n.r. – at the first tournament of the year – Summer Set 1), I’m used to them now. It’s always nice to come to Australia and win a few games. That title helped me a lot and I hope I can play better this week, “Simona Halep said after the match with Frech.
Five Romanian players got through the first round of the Grand Slam in Melbourne, Simona Halep, Sorana Cirstea, Irina Begu, Gabriela Ruse and Jaqueline Cristian. Only Irina Bara was eliminated in this round.
Also on Tuesday, Sorana Cirstea and Irina Begu advanced to the women’s singles second round.
Cirstea, 31, world number 38, defeated Czech player Petra Kvitova, 31, world number 19, 6-2 6-2 in one hour and 11 minutes. She will meet Kristina Kucova (Slovakia) in the second round,who has beaten Japanese Misaki Doi 6-3 7-5.
As for Irina Begu, aged 31, world number 64, defeated French Oceane Dodin, 25, world number 85, 2-6 7-5 6-3, after three sets.
Begu’s next opponent is 19th seeded 26-year-old Elise Mertens of Belgium, world number 26, who defeated Russian Vera Zvonareva 6-4 7-5.
Both Cirstea and Begu have each won 154,000 Australian dollars and 70 WTA singles points for their performance in Australia.