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World No.2 Halep labours to victory in Prague comeback

“I’m happy because I could win after a six-month break,” the 28-year-old Romanian told a news conference.

“I felt tension in my back after the first set, even though it was short and I played well.

World No.2 Simona Halep during the Australian Open earlier this year.

World No.2 Simona Halep during the Australian Open earlier this year.Credit:Eddie Jim

“After the second set, I felt tired. But I knew she was in the same position so I just had to stick to the plan and fight – the fighting helped me to win the match.

“Sometimes it’s good to call it a good match – but I don’t wish for the next one to play three hours!”

The WTA Tour restarted the season last week in Palermo with strict health protocols, including a limited number of fans and no handshakes between players after the match.

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“Emotionally it’s not easy, but we have to adjust – we live in tough times,” Halep said. “I’m all in and respect everything.”

The Romanian has said she will make a decision on her participation in the US Open, which starts on August 31, after playing in this week’s claycourt tournament in Prague.

Second seed Petra Martic, who suffered a semi-final defeat in Palermo last weekend, rebounded with a 7-6 (7-2), 6-3 win over Russian youngster Varvara Gracheva.

Despite needing a medical timeout between sets, Martic went on to break her opponent’s serve twice to seal a convincing victory.

Camila Giorgi, Irina Begu and Elise Mertens all advanced while Australia’s Storm Sanders was eliminated in straight sets by Ana Bogdan of Romania.

Reuters

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