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World No 1 Simona Halep beaten on return from lengthy injury lay-off

World No 1 Simona Halep beaten in straight sets by Ashleigh Barty on her return from lengthy injury lay-off

  • Ashleigh Barty beat Simona Halep 6-4, 6-4 in Sydney International second round
  • It was Halep’s first match since October after a long lay-off due to a back injury 
  • Halep will be at the Australian Open next week in Melbourne without a coach
  • She split with Darren Cahill, who can’t commit to Halep due to family reasons 



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Ashleigh Barty broke Simona Halep’s serve in the final game of the match to beat the No 1-ranked Halep 6-4, 6-4 in a second-round match Wednesday at the Sydney International.

It was Halep’s first match since October after a lengthy lay-off due to a herniated disc in her back. Halep won last year’s French Open and lost to Caroline Wozniacki in the Australian Open final.

The Australian served five aces, no double-faults and broke Halep three times to reverse two previous losses to Halep last August.

World No 1 Simona Halep was beaten in straight sets on her return from a lengthy injury lay-off

Ashleigh Barty (L) beat  Halep 6-4, 6-4 in a second-round match at the Sydney International

Ashleigh Barty (L) beat Halep 6-4, 6-4 in a second-round match at the Sydney International

‘I finally learned my lesson,’ Barty said. ‘She gave me a belting in Montreal. I learned a little bit more in Cincinnati, but today I knuckled down and really thought about it and really gave myself a chance.

‘The biggest thing, I believed that I could I win. We’re both out here on the same court. Just very happy I was able to come out and execute.’

The 27-year-old Halep will be at the Australian Open next week in Melbourne without a coach after parting ways with Australian mentor Darren Cahill, who can longer commit to Halep due to family reasons. Cahill had coached Halep for four years.

In a first-round match, 10th-seeded Elise Mertens beat qualifier Katerina Siniakova 7-6 (4), 2-6, 6-2. In the second round, Timea Bacsinszky defeated Samantha Stosur 5-7, 6-4, 6-3.

The 27-year-old Halep will be at the Australian Open next week in Melbourne without a coach

The 27-year-old Halep will be at the Australian Open next week in Melbourne without a coach

'I knuckled down and really thought about it and really gave myself a chance,' Barty said

‘I knuckled down and really thought about it and really gave myself a chance,’ Barty said

In men’s play, Alex de Minaur beat American qualifier Reilly Opelka 6-4 7-6 (4) in a match suspended by rain after just one game on Tuesday night to advance to the quarterfinals against fellow Australian Jordan Thompson.



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‘I think I got lucky today. Reilly’s an incredibly tough opponent,’ de Minaur said. ‘I took care of my chances. I would have loved to get the break in the second. I had a couple of chances, but I did well to focus on my serve and I’m glad things went my way today.’

In other second-round matches, third-seeded Diego Schwartzman beat qualifier Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-2, 6-3 and Yoshihito Nishioka defeated Andrey Rublev 6-3, 6-1.

 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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