Prague Open 2020: Top-seeded Simona Halep battles past Polana Hercog to reach second round

It was the first competitive match for Halep since she won the Dubai Championships in February for her 20th career WTA title.

The Associated Press August 11, 2020 21:46:01 IST
Prague Open 2020: Top-seeded Simona Halep battles past Polana Hercog to reach second round

Top-seeded Simona Halep had to fight hard to advance to the second round of the Prague Open in beating unseeded Polana Hercog 6-1, 1-6, 7-6 (3) on Tuesday.

It was the first competitive match for Halep since she won the Dubai Championships in February for her 20th career WTA title. Before the Wimbledon champion recovered from a foot injury she sustained in Dubai, the coronavirus pandemic forced a five-month break.

The Romanian dropped her serve six times and double-faulted eight times before prevailing in a tie-breaker. She will face next Czech wild card Barbora Krejcikova.

Second-seeded Petra Martic, who reached the semi-finals in Palermo last week, overcame Varvara Gracheva 7-6 (2), 6-3 to face Kristyna Pliskova in the second round.

Third-seeded Elise Mertens recovered from a second set scare to beat Jasmine Paolini 7-5, 4-6, 6-3.

Fifth-seeded Ekaterina Alexandrova was upset by Lesia Tsurenko 6-2, 6-4, sixth-seeded Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova was knocked out by Arantxa Rus 7-5, 6-2 and Irina-Camelia Begu dispatched ninth-seeded Anastasia Sevastova 6-2, 6-2.

The second European tournament in the WTA’s restart amid the pandemic is following even stricter health protocols than the Palermo Open last week.

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