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Minor hiccup as defending champion Halep advances in Paris

Credit: Reuters - Sports
Published on May 28, 2019 - Duration: 01:06s

Minor hiccup as defending champion Halep advances in Paris

Simona Halep keeps her emotions in check as she overcomes a second-set blip to advance in the French Open.

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Minor hiccup as defending champion Halep advances in Paris

SHOWS: PARIS, FRANCE (MAY 28, 2019) (FFT - NO RESALES) 1.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) SIMONA HALEP, SAYING: "In my opinion, it was a great match.

The level was great and - actually, her (Ajla Tomljanovic) level in the second set was really high.

So, I had to be focused more on myself to find out what I have to play better in the third set to be able to win.

And then I just started to feel that if I make her move, it's a little bit better for me so I did that.

Of course, it was not easy because of the emotions, the pressure.

But it's always nice to go back on that court.

So, I had nice emotions and I'm really happy that I could win the match and now I can play the second round here." 2.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) SIMONA HALEP, SAYING: "I try just to keep it simple.

The sound is a little bit different (in the stadium).

But the clay is the same and also, the size of the court down there is the same.

So, I had the same feeling as last year.

And in my opinion, I felt really well for the first round.

And I'm confident now." STORY: Simona Halep dealt with the emotions and pressure of being the defending champion as she overcame a second-set blip to kick off her French Open campaign with a 6-2 3-6 6-1 win over Australian Ajla Tomljanovic on Tuesday (May 27).

The Romanian third seed played some neat and tidy tennis in the opening set, lost the plot in the second and then wrapped up the victory to set up a second-round meeting with Magda Linette of Poland.

Halep seized control with an early break and tightened her grip in a one-sided first set, containing her opponent's power.

But Tomljanovic started to hit the ball harder and by the time Halep had started to figure out how to deal with her pace the Australian had taken the second set.

Experience, however, prevailed in the decider as Halep won six of the seven remaining games.

"It was not easy because of the emotions, the pressure," Halep told reporters.

"I had nice emotions and I'm really happy that I could win the match and now I can play the second round here." It was the first time Halep stepped back onto Court Philippe Chatrier for a competitive match since she lifted the Suzanne Lenglen Cup a year ago, and she felt at home even if the stadium has been revamped.

"Maybe the sound is a bit different but the size of the court is the same," she explained.

Halep indeed seemed comfortable on the red clay and she said the only pressure she would put on herself had nothing to do with results.

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