Halep still can’t solve Sharapova after loss
30 Aug 2017 - 0:51
New York: Despite all Simona Halep’s work preparing for the US Open, the second-ranked Romanian could not prevent her worst nightmare from coming true - a first-round loss to Maria Sharapova.
The 146th-ranked Russian wildcard improved to 7-0 lifetime against Halep with a 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 triumph Monday on the New York hardcourts, marking Halep’s 30th Grand Slam appearance without a title.
“I’m sad, of course, losing this match, but I think I give everything I had,” Halep said. “She was better. She was serving better. My serve was very bad today.”
Halep arrived at the US Open off a humbling 6-1, 6-0 loss to Garbine Muguruza at the Cincinnati final two weeks ago, her third loss in as many months with a chance to take the world number one ranking for the first time in her career.
She also stumbled on the verge of the top spot by losing the French Open final and a Wimbledon semi-final, both after taking the first set.
And then of all the people she could have faced in the US Open draw, Halep was handed a five-time Grand Slam champion and former world number one in her first Grand Slam match since a 15-month doping ban - a motivated foe with a total mastery over her.
“It’s the luck. It was a tough one for first round, for sure. But still I think I played OK. She played really well. It was a good match. It was good for the fans.”
“I gave everything I had. Today she was stronger. I have just to go and work harder.”