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Halep progresses at French Open
25 May 2015 13:01
Third seed Simona Halep came through the first round of the French Open unscathed as she beat Russia's Evgeniya Rodina 7-5 6-4.
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Halep, who is yet to win a grand slam, lost in the deciding set of last year's final to Maria Sharapova and is considered a serious contender again for the title in Roland Garros.
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She was never at her fluent best against Rodina, in what was the opening match of the tournament on Philippe Chatrier, but her potent ground strokes proved too much for her opponent, who is ranked 91st in the world.
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"It was a tough match because it was the first round and it's always difficult to start the tournament," said Halep, who now faces Croatia's Mirjana Lucic-Baroni in round two.
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"She played well and I did make easy mistakes, but it's normal and I accept that. Next round I will be better, for sure."
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Halep faces a potential reunion with Sharapova in the semi-finals but the world number three insists she is a better player than the one that lost to the Russian last year.
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"I'm stronger than last year, I think mentally, and I'm stronger as well on court," Halep said.
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"My serve is better so I feel more confident now with my game but, still, it's about the match and about the opponent, so I have to train hard and be focused in every game."
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