(January 19, 2015) No. 3 seed Simona Halep began her Australian Open with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Karin Knapp in the first round of the Australian Open on Monday.
Halep withdrew from last week’s tournament in Sydney due to a stomach illness. She showed no signs of illness but she had to rebound from a 0-2 start in the match.
The 23-year-old Romanian, who began the year in China by winning the Shenzen is defending quarterfinalist points from last year’s Australian Open She lost to losing finalist Dominika Cibulkova.
“I started well in Shenzhen and won the tournament there but the first Slam is different and there`s much pressure here and I feel that,” she said.
“But I feel good and I`m sure I`ll have the chance to win many more matches.”
She hit 15 winners in the match.
“It was a tough match for me and I was very nervous before the match but I`m very happy now and I`m sure that next time I`ll play better,” Halep said after the match.
Halep’s next opponent will be world No. 62 Jarmila Gajdosova who broke a 0-9 record at her home major moving past Romanian Alexandra Dulgheru 6-3, 6-4 in 88 minutes on Margaret Court Arena.
Asked if she thought the day would ever come that she’s wina match in Melbourne, she said: “If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be playing, would I? Yeah, I thought it would, I thought I been playing well, so one of these years it had to come. As I said on the court, I guess I was fortunate for the first time I actually had a draw that I didn’t have a seed in the first round. As much as it was difficult match and every match is hard to win, doesn’t matter if there is a seed or not, at least I had a big opportunity to get through. As I say, it was my ten-year anniversary, so there was going to be celebration or one for the sadness. I’m glad it’s a celebration.”
“I was talking to my coach and I told him I actually did feel like I won Australian Open. It was just first round. It’s been such a long time coming. Not to be able to do it in your home Grand Slam was very devastating for me. I was very happy and relieved that I got this monkey off my back. I do love playing in Australia and I played well the last couple weeks. Mixed here, made semis in doubles, won Hobart, made quarters in Brisbane. So I play well here and I can play well here. I definitely enjoy it. I’m just very happy that one tournament in my whole career I couldn’t break I finally did. Whatever is going to happen from now on I’m just going to enjoy it and play the best I can.”
More to follow.