No. 5 seed Simona Halep won a very though match against Lucie Safarova 6-3 6-4 to book her spot in the third round of the US Open.
The 24-year-old Halep started the match very aggressively, showing no sign of insecurity, quickly leading 2-0 as Safarova seemed to be a little intimidated. The 44th-ranked Safarova eventually gained more confidence, coming back to 3-3, while Halep became tense and frustrated, making many errors. The Romanian nevertheless prevailed, getting ahead after a very tight 7-minute game. Leading 4-3, the world No.5 Halep appeared more confident with an answer to everything her opponent tried. Halep won the game, leaving Safarova to serve to stay in the set. It was a very poor service game for Safarova and Halep took advantage of it to win the opening set 6-3 in 46 minutes.
At the beginning of the second set, Safarova took many risks, which payed off and she broke Halep’s serve. Although the next two games were very tight, Halep eventually prevailed to lead 2-1. Over the next few games, Safarova took every chance, either hitting a winner or making an error. Halep remained focused, playing her game and trying to force Safarova into making errors, but the latter prevailed, wining the game to lead 3-2. The Romanian then won the next games, clearly being the more dominant player to lead 4-3 in this second set. In the next game, Halep made many errors and Safarova used that to her advantage to win the game and come back to 4-4. Halep prevailed in the next game, using her first serve to lead 5-4, with Safarova serving to stay in the match. Halep didn’t take any risks and simply waited for Safarova to make a mistake, which the Czech eventually did, making a double fault to leave the victory to her higher ranked opponent.
Halep will next face Timea Babos, who beat Richel Hogenkamp 6-2 6-4 in the second round.