Halep dismisses threat, Berdych loses marathon
The 2016 finalist and this year’s top seed at the on-going French Open, Simona Halep of Romania lost the first set 2-6 but rolled over Anne Riske of the United States, 6-1; 6-1 to advance to the second round of the competition.
However, the men’s 17th seed, Tomas Berdych lost a marathon to France’s Jeremy Chardy 7/6 (5); 7/6 (8) 1/6; 5/7; 6/2, on Philip Chatrier Court.
The world number one female stepped on court as the clear favourite over the 86th ranked player from Pittsburgh but Alison Riske defied the bookmakers from the outset.
All through the entire match, neither player had an overpowering serve. There was not a single ace but one double fault.
The battle was fought with groundstrokes, which concluded on the balance of outright winners and unforced errors.
In the first set, Alison delivered 13 outright winners with 10 unforced errors. Simona registered only four winners but 16 unforced errors. It was no surprise that the tally at the end of the 6/2 set totaled 26 points for Halep and 35 for Riske.
Halep changed a losing game and turned around the match in the second set. Her defensive prowess reduced the outright winners by Riske, who increased the unforced errors off her racquet.
The last two sets were similar in the negative results for the American. Halep amassed a total of 16 winners for the two sets and had 12 unforced errors.
On the other sides, her opponent managed only four winners and a whopping 23 unforced errors. This gave victory to Simona Halep, who has to find a remedy for her penchant for slow starts.
The battle of serves between Frenchman Jeremy Chardy and Czech Republic’s Tomas Berdych was fought over four hours and 13 minutes.
As the two players served at high percentage and won points off first deliveries, the sets ended inevitably by tie breaks in which only two points gave the sets to Chardy.
Berdych had an easier run through the third set in which he dropped only one game and then broke Chardy’s serve once to take the fourth set by seven games to five.
In the fifth set decider, Jeremy held serve to lead and Berdych leveled, signaling a possible tiebreak.
However, the Frenchman secured a break in the sixth to lead 4-2 and held his serve for 5-2.
Berdych needed to win his serve to stay in the match and he started out leading 30-0. Chardy caught up with him and earned a match point at 30-40. To the delight of the hometown crowd, the Frenchman sealed the victory.
In the final statistics, Tomas Berdych amassed 179 points to Chardy’s 175; on account of the close scores in the first two sets and the wide margin of the third set he won by 6 games to 1.
The Czech star also delivered more outright winners, totaling 75 to Chardy’s 61. The two players were about even in unforced errors.
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