Archive for the 'Simona Halep' Category


Li Na crashes out, Schiavonne scrapes through, and Ivanovic has her blood pressure checked…..just a normal day at the US Open!

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Twenty-four hours after Kvitova had crashed out at the hands of Alexandra Dulgheru, Chinese star Li went down 6-2 7-5 to her Romanian compatriot, Simona Halep. A surprise winner on the Paris clay back in June, Li had proved her hardcourt credentials at the start of the season when she made the final of the Australian Open. However, Flushing Meadows did not prove to be to her liking. Halep dominated the first set and when she moved a break up in the second, the Louis Armstrong Stadium crowd sensed a shock. The sixth seed managed to get back on level terms but then lost her serve again at 5-5 before Halep served out.

Seventh seed Francesca Schiavone, last year’s French Open champion, had to fight hard to avoid a similar upset against Galina Voskoboeva, of Kazakhstan. Schiavone started well enough but went off the boil in the second set before scrapping to a 6-3 1-6 6-4 victory. A total of 16 double faults did not help the Italian’s cause and she will need to improve to stand any chance of contending in New York.

There was also a scare for Ana Ivanovic, the former French Open champion seeded 16 at this event. She had to have her blood pressure taken during her clash with Ksenia Pervak but recovered to post a 6-4 6-2 win. Ivanovic, who was a break down early on in the match, has never been beyond last 16 in New York.




Serena Williams survived a major scare on Court Two to reach the third round of the Wimbledon women’s singles.


The American would have plummeted from 25th to 311th in the world rankings if she lost to Romanian teenager Simona Halep, relinquishing almost all the points she earned for her triumph in London last year. And when the opening set went to 19-year-old Halep, the four-time champion was in trouble. But Williams had scraped her way past France’s Aravane Rezai in a deciding set in the opening round, leading to a flood of tears, and had another comeback in store which allowed her to deny Halep and win 3-6 6-2 6-1. If Williams was looking to be tested in the early rounds in preparation for the more accomplished opponents she would expect to meet in the second week, her wishes have been granted. The more sets she plays the more she might look capable of winning a third successive Wimbledon title, which no female player has managed since Steffi Graf dominated from 1991 to 1993.

But Williams was not convincing on Thursday, and after her 49-week absence from the tour – caused by a foot injury and a blood clot – it would rank as perhaps her greatest achievement should she triumph in the final on Saturday week.



Dinara Safina needs a victory in Morocco to show she’s on her way back to form.

Dinara Safina reached her first semi-final in almost two years after overcoming fellow Russian Anastasia Pivovarova at the Grand Prix SAR in Fes, Morocco. Safina had to draw on all of her resolve as she finally won 6-4 2-6 6-4 in a match that contained 18 breaks of serve and lasted three-and-a-half hours due to rain delays. The 24-year-old has been beset by injury in the past couple of years but, after showing signs of returning to her best, will meet Alberta Brianti in the last four. The Italian raced through the last set to claim a 7-5 5-7 6-0 victory over American Melanie Oudin in two hours 45 minutes.

Last year’s runner-up and seventh-seeded Romanian Simona Halep is the highest-ranked player left in the draw after she swept aside fourth seed Greta Arn 6-2 6-1. She will meet Kirsten Flipkens in the last-four after the Belgian veteran enjoyed similarly easy progress against local wild card Nadia Lalami, winning 6-0 6-1 in just 45 minutes.



Benesova wins her 2nd WTA title in Fes.

Iveta Benesova beat tour newcomer Simona Halep 6-4, 6-2 in Saturday’s final at the $220,000 Moroccan Grand Prix tennis tournament.

The 27-year-old Benesova captured her second career title (2-6) and first since winning in Acapulco six years ago.

Benesova, who earned $37,000 with the win, avenged a straight-set loss, on clay, to the 18-year-old Romanian qualifier in Marbella, Spain, just three weeks ago.

“I played Simona in Marbella and knew what to expect, and wanted a little revenge,” said Benesova. “I just tried to play my game, be aggressive and make her move, because she had a lot of matches this week too.”

Halep was appearing in her first-ever WTA Tour final.

Fes, which is the only WTA stop in Africa, serves as a tune-up for the French Open, which will commence May 23 in Paris.


The new Wimbledon heavyweight division?


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