Halep feeling focused after Watson win



Originally published on 29/05/14

The Romanian, who won 75% of her first serve points against Watson, is the highest-ranked seed in the bottom half of the draw following Li Na's shock exit and is now one of the favourites to win the tournament. She will face Spain's Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor for the first time in the third round and says she is pleased with the way her game is shaping up.

"I feel very good. I'm 100% here," said the 22-year-old. "That's why I stopped in Rome, to be ready to play here. I have had two good matches here. The second set was a little bit difficult today and I was a little nervous. But I served well and that was good. There is a little pressure, but I just want to stay focused for every match because here every match is very tough. It's a tough tournament, and I have to play my best. I expect every match to be difficult, so I cannot say that I'm thinking about the finals or anything like that."

Watson, who came through qualifying and beat Barbora Zahlavova-Strycova in straight sets in the first round, said: "Today was tough. Simona played very well, as I knew she would. I don't think I was on my best game. I made a lot more unforced errors than I usually do, and I thought my first serve percentage wasn't very high. But at the end of the day, she made hardly any unforced errors and she made me make my unforced errors, so you have to give her credit for that."

No.6 seed Jelena Jankovic came through a tough opening set to beat Japan's Kurumi Nara for the third Grand Slam in a row. The Serb needed nearly an hour to close out the first set 7-5 but then swept through the second without dropping a game to book her place in the third round.

“We have been playing against each other the last three Grand Slams, so hopefully she can play someone else from now on,” joked Jankovic. “I did not break her until that game at 5-5 and then I started playing a little more aggressively in the second set and it made a difference. She gets so many balls back and doesn't give you many free points, so you have to work your way through. Especially in slow conditions like this, it's not easy. I'm happy with my win.”

Kristina Mladenovic backed up her first-round win over world No.2 Li Na with a 7-6(5) 3-6 6-3 victory against Alison Riske while Sloane Stephens impressed in beating Polona Hercog 6-1 6-3. The American No.2, who has reached at least the fourth round in her last five Grand Slams, won nine of the first 10 games and said:"I was happy with the way I stayed focus and managed to pull it out. It was tough, I was happy to get the win and I am enjoying myself."

Former champion Svetlana Kuznetsova also reached the third round after a 7-6(5) 6-3 victory against Italy's Camila Giorgi.


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