Shock loss for Simona Halep at Shenzhen Open
Tournament second seed suffers setback in preparation for Australian Open
Simona Halep’s preparations for the Australian Open took a hit when the second-seeded Romanian was beaten by the Czech Republic’s Katerina Siniakova 6-3, 4-6, 7-5 in the second round of the Shenzhen Open on Wednesday.
Halep, the 2015 champion, was broken four times in the final set. Altogether, the two players combined for 15 breaks of serve in the match.
Meanwhile, China’s Zheng Saisai was defeated by Camila Giorgi of Italy 6-7 (5-7), 7-5, 6-4, after a painstaking battle.
Zheng asked for a medical timeout during the decider when she led at 2-1, and was broken twice in the 5th and 7th games and fell behind 5-2 to her rival, who ranked 81st in the world, three places higher than Zheng.
Although the 22-year-old home favourite broke back in the 8th game and held her own to claw back to 5-4, the Italian eventually claimed the victory with a fantastic volley to book a spot in the last eight.
“She played really aggressively today, and played better and better as the match went on,” said Zheng.
Kristyna Pliskova of the Czech Republic advanced to the quarter-finals with a 6-1, 6-2 win over Chang Kai-chen of Taiwan while Nina Stojanovic of Serbia defeated Ons Jabeur of Tunisia 4-6, 6-3, 6-3.
Additional reporting by Xinhua