By Chris Oddo | Monday, August 25, 2014
Simona Halep found herself in danger against an unranked American on Day 1, but the second-seed rallied to advance in three sets.
Photo Source: AP
Second-seeded Simona Halep had to rally from a set down against unranked American Danielle Collins, but the Romanian avoided the upset with a strong effort in the final two sets to finish off the upset-minded 20-year-old, 6-7(2), 6-1, 6-2.
On Tap: Day 1 US Open Preview
“I really liked how Collins has competed today,” chimed Martina Navratilova, who called the match for Tennis Channel. “Great attitude, great hustle.”
From the get go, Collins was vocal and feisty, shouting “come on!” after winning the first point of the match, and attacking Halep with aggressive ground strokes that led to ten winners in the first set.
But Halep, cool and calculated, would right the ship to sail past Collins without too much drama at the end. She limited the American, who won the NCAA women’s singles to earn her U.S. Open wild card, to only three winners the rest of the way.
After reversing course the second set, Halep took control in the decider as well, taking a double-break lead when she converted her fifth break point of the seventh game. She would serve out the match in the next game to set up a second-round match with Jana Cepelova.
“She played really well and I want to congratulate her,” said Halep. “Was a tough match, always first round of the tournament is really tough. I was a bit nervous—it’s normal because this court is really huge.”
In other first-round action on Day 1, 4th-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska thumped Canada’s Sharon Fichman, 6-1, 6-0, while 17-year-old Belinda Bencic of Switzerland claimed her first career win at the U.S. Open, 6-3, 6-2 over Yanina Wickmayer.