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Simona Halep – Polona Hercog 6-1, 1-6, 7-6, turul 1 la WTA Praga PDF Imprimare
Marţi, 11 August 2020 18:26



  No.1 seed Simona Halep was made to fight after racing out of the blocks, eventually overcoming Polona Hercog 6-1, 1-6, 7-6(3) in the first round of the Prague Open on her seventh match point after two hours and 31 minutes.



"I knew it was going to be difficult," said Halep afterwards, reerring to her rivalry with Hercog, against whom she played two marathons last year - a 5-7, 7-6(1), 6-2 win in Miami and a 6-1, 4-6, 6-3 win in Eastbourne. (Ten years prior, in the pair's ITF days, Hercog had won their first meeting 7-6(3), 1-6, 6-2 in Sofia in 2009.) "All our matches were very tough and very long," recalled Halep. "She knows me pretty well, we played in juniors. She changes the rhythm, she plays dropshots, a little bit softer then harder, so it was tougher for me to be in the point."

After six months off court since Halep's last tournament appearance - a run to the Dubai title in February - today was both an emotional and physical test. On the former, talking about the new COVID-19 protocol - which in Prague means no fans in the stands - Halep was sanguine. "Emotionally it's not easy, but we have to adjust - we live in tough times," she pointed out. "I'm into it."

Getting used to the rigors of competition was a minor issue, though. "I felt tension in my back after the first set, even though it was short and I played well," admitted Halep. "After the second set, I felt tired. But I knew she was in the same position so I just had to stick to the plan and fight - the fighting helped me to win the match. "Sometimes it's good to call it a good match - but I don't wish for the next one to play three hours!"



*-- WTA


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