Halep and Kontaveit move forward in Romania – Tennis Sports

Top-seeded Simona Halep has launched the Transylvania Open Campaign in Cluj-Napoca, easily beating fellow Romanian Elena Gabriella Luce in just over an hour. Defeat Serbian Alexandra Krnick on Wednesday with a straight set.

I never said I would stop playing after the wedding reception. I’m still motivated and love tennis. My husband is always next to me and I’m happy to be on the court and play a match. I am improving every day. Gain confidence during tournaments and matches. I think I’m starting to feel my best game again. Simona Halep

Former world No. 1 Halep suffered an ongoing calf injury in Rome and had a difficult year finishing out of the top eight in the Porsche race to the WTA Finals in Guadalajara for the first time since 2013. But she is already aiming for a comeback in 2022 during the fall tournament.

“I just wanted to regain my mood by playing an official match,” she said last week about her decision to play the Kremlin Cup in Moscow, Cluj-Napoca and Linz after the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.

“I didn’t play much this year, so I wanted to regain that feeling and confidence. These are my only goals.”

Halep missed Roland Garros and Wimbledon due to an injury in Rome, the defending champion, and has since dropped from the top 10 to 18.

On Wednesday, she saw her old self when she delivered six aces while dispatching Ruse, 6-1 6-2, in her first round match in her home country.

The 30-year-old played against one of a new generation of Romanians inspired by her achievements. Ruse won his first WTA title in Hamburg in July of this year, qualifying for the Palermo final and jumping to the top. 100 in August.

The contest was tight at first, Halep survived four deuces, Ruse unleashed a powerful ground stroke and scored a breakpoint to host the opening service game, but after passing it, the top seeds were 85 in the world. Dominated the rank.

Halep came up with two stunning pass shots, and when Halep fought to stop the double break, 23-year-old Ruse made frequent errors and quickly dragged 2-4.

Halep took only 73 minutes to move forward, winning 83% of his first serve points to 53% of Ruse, taking four of his eight breakpoint chances and saving the only breakpoint he faced. Did.

She also scored 55% of second serve points against 40% of her opponents and ended the match with 63 points against Ruse’s 38 after her opponent had six double faults.

Romania, who married her longtime partner Toni Iuruc after the US opening, has evaded rumors that her retirement is pending.

“Many people were talking about it, but I never said I would stop playing after the wedding reception,” she told the media. “I’m still motivated and love tennis.

“My husband is always next to me, and I’m happy to stay in court and play a match.

“I’m improving every day. I feel confident during tournaments and games. I think I’m starting to feel my best game again.

“Of course, if you don’t play a match, it won’t be easy over a long period of time. Now I’m just focusing on what I’m feeling today and I feel good.

“Injuries are a thing of the past, so I’m trying to get positive from every match.”

Halep will face Vavala Gracheva from Russia to advance to the quarterfinals.

There are no two seeds that need to win the tournament this week to compete in the WTA Finals.

© Natalia Kolesnikova / AFP via Getty Images

Previously, Estonian Kontaveit defeated Kurnick 6-3 7-5, extending his indoor win to 11 games.

The Estonian defeated the Serbian serve three times, and in the second set dropped his serve only once, following the only breakpoint she faced. She earned 76% of her first serve points and 68% and 64% of Krunić. Serve points are 45% of the latter.

Kontaveit won 22 of his 24 recent games and won two WTA500 indoor trophies in Ostrava and Moscow this fall.

She is competing for the final open spot at Akron WTA Finals Guadalajara, but she has to win the tournament here to secure it. She led 3-0 against Kurnick and quickly became the world’s No. 140, thanks to the combination of Serbian forehand errors and her own aggressive returns.

Kontaveit didn’t face a break point on his serve as he jumped into a 6-3, 4-2 lead, but Crookick used his forehand to break back 4-4.

The Estonian reaction was quick. She broke 6-5 again, set a second break point with a great backhand winner and won 15.

Next is another player in a streak of indoor wins at Alison van Witvank, Belgium, who was the champion of Nur-Sultan last month.

“Honestly, I don’t really think about it,” said Kontaveit when asked about the WTA Finals. “Recently, I’ve enjoyed being on the court more, and I think it’s something I’m really proud of.”

Meanwhile, fifth-seeded Ajla Tomljanovich from Australia lost to home player Jaqueline Christian 7-6 (5) 7-5 in 2 hours 11 minutes in Romania’s only upset of the day. ..

If Halep wins the second round match, she and the Christian will take over each other for a semi-final spot in another local derby.

Ukraine’s Lesia Tsurenko and Angelina Carinina advanced to the quarterfinals after passing their respective second round matches.

Turenko defeats Russian qualifier Anastasia Gasanova 6-2 7-5, waiting for either Romania’s Irina Bara or Sweden’s Rebecca Peterson.

As Anett Kontaveit advances to the quarterfinals, he will face Carinina there.

– Tennis Sports

Halep and Kontaveit move forward in Romania Halep and Kontaveit move forward in Romania

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