Halep Survives Brady to Advance in Toronto
(August 7, 2019) TORONTO – After a Tuesday that featured surprises and major upsets, Wednesday went much more according to plan for the seeds. All eight seeds won to advance to the third round, along with former grand slam champions Svetlana Kuznetsova and Jelena Ostapenko.
It was not smooth sailing for the remaining top seed Simona Halep who needed nearly two and a half hours to defeat American Jennifer Brady, 4-6, 7-5, 7-6(5).
Halep talked before the match that she took time after winning Wimbledon to relax, and admitted she is still moving towards full match fitness for the upcoming hard court season.
“I didn’t feel 100% ready for the tournament because I had a long break.”
“I was tired in the third set, I felt the Achilles since the first point of the match, but it’s normal after a break and also coming on the hard courts. It’s very difficult for the ankles and also for the knees.”
The Rogers Cup has seen its fair share of upsets over the years, and Halep was willing to admit it is likely due to the layoff after Wimbledon.
“Yeah, it’s a little bit to be expected because you have — I think most of the players have holiday after Wimbledon. It’s the only time that you can take actually one or two weeks off.”
Elsewhere, Naomi Osaka advanced after her opponent Tatijana Maria retired after Osaka won the first set 6-2. Osaka was relaxed after the match and was overall happy with her play.
” I thought I played really well despite the fact that we only played one set. I think that I was able to do what I wanted, which was go for the shots that I had the opportunity to. And, of course, there were, like, a couple unforced errors, but I think that’s part of the process.”
Serena Williams also advanced over Belgian Elise Mertens in straight sets. Her movement and footwork was excellent, particularly for her first match after Wimbledon.
“I feel like my movement is great. Been working on my fitness, so I felt like it really was able to shine through today,” said the American.
“And I don’t know. I’m loving going out there, and I’m loving kind of running. So it’s a good thing.”
She joked after the match that she felt sluggish during the match, but has put in the time to prepare for the hard court swing.
“I actually had more time to prepare for the Rogers Cup than I did for Wimbledon, so that’s just no joke. And, you know, I just am like, now that I’m just injury free, I’m just enjoying being able to train, and I haven’t been able to do it since January, really.”
Thursday’s day session will feature Canadian Bianca Andreescu as well as Simona Halep and the night session will feature Serena Williams followed by Naomi Osaka.