French Open: Simona Halep slides into the second week 
Halep lput in her best performance of the tournament so far (Getty Images/Clive Brunskill)

Third seed and reigning French Open champion Simona Halep continued her quest for a second title at Roland Garros was a convincing performance early on Saturday, with the Romanian easing past 27th seed Lesia Tsurenko to reach the second week.

Halep has not had it easy so far, with matches against Aija Tomljanovic and Magda Linette going to three sets, though that pales in comparison to Tsurenko, who saved a match point and prevailed 11-9 in the decider against Aleksandra Krunic in a match that was not finished until yesterday.

Tsurenko struggled physically against the world number three (Getty Images/Clive Brunskill)
Tsurenko struggled physically against the world number three (Getty Images/Clive Brunskill)

Tsurenko’s efforts over the previous two days may have had an impact, with the Ukranian not playing well, but it was arguably Halep’s best performance so far, winning 6-2, 6-1 in a dominant performance out on Court Philippe Chatrier.

Halep eases through as she continues title defence

Halep had never had too much trouble against Tsurenko before, dropping just one set in six previous meetings on tour, and with the Ukranian struggling physically, the third seed had little trouble in progressing to the second week.

It was a nervy start from both women, with a trade of breaks starting the match, though Halep quickly took control, breaking twice on her way to a 4-1 lead. Tsurenko was able to get one of the breaks back for 4-2, though was struggling immensely on her own serve, with the Romanian breaking for the fourth time. Halep had little trouble in serving out the first set after just 29 minutes.

Halep dropped just three games as she reached the fourth round (Getty Images/Clive Brunskill)
Halep dropped just three games as she reached the fourth round (Getty Images/Clive Brunskill)

The defending champion had dropped the second set in both her matches so far, though showed no signs of doing so here, breaking twice early on as she put herself just three games away from victory. Tsurenko, evidently struggling, took a medical timeout, though that provided little help, with Halep holding and then breaking from 40-15 down for a 5-0 lead. Tsurenko managed to break to love to avoid the bagel, but was broken once again as Halep claimed victory.

It was not an entirely perfect match from the Romanian, who dropped serve three times, but having gone to three sets in her first two matches, she will surely be satisfied winning in just 55 minutes. She will face Monica Puig or Iga Swiatek next.

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