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French Open 2018: Simona Halep beats Alison Riske to reach second round

French Open 2018: Simona Halep beats Alison Riske to reach second round

Romania's Simona Halep was a beaten finalist in both the 2014 and 2017 French Open
bbc.comWorld number one Simona Halep began her bid for a first Grand Slam title with a gutsy fightback in her rain-delayed French Open first-round match.Halep, last year's runner-up, lost the first set before recovering to win 2-6 6-1 6-1 against American Alison Riske.Ukraine's fourth seed Elina Svitolina reached the third round with a 6-3 6-4 win over Slovakia's Viktoria Kuzmova.
Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, seeded eighth, also beat Spain's Lara Arruabarrena 6-0 6-4.
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Halep overcomes slow start
Two-time French Open finalist Halep has spent much of the past seven months as the world's leading female player, despite never transferring her consistency on tour into lifting one of tennis' most prestigious prizes.Halep lost to unseeded Latvian Jelena Ostapenko in the Roland Garros final last year, one of six defeats in a showpiece over the past year.But reaching a second final in Paris looked a long way off as she made a woeful start in a match which originally supposed to be played on Tuesday.The 26-year-old Romanian hit 16 unforced errors in a opening set, but then won nine of the next 10 games to take control.Riske, who is Johanna Konta's doubles partner, stemmed the tide by claiming the fourth game of the final set, but only managed to win another 12 points in a final set which Halep won in 28 minutes.Halep put her sluggish start down to pre-match nerves, which she said were not caused by the extra pressure of finally landing her first major prize."I didn't feel the pressure, because I know that every match is tough at this tournament, so I don't expect anything," she said."I think the nerves are really good. It means that you care about what you are doing and your desire is really big."Halep will face Riske's compatriot Taylor Townsend in the second round.
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