The latest from the Australian Open, the first Grand Slam tournament of the year.
Open is underway in Melbourne, with only one Romanian getting as far as the
third round, in the women's singles. On Wednesday, Sorana Carstea outclassed
the 10-seed Spanish player Carla Suarez Navarro, 7-6, 6-3. Six Romanians had
initially been included in the main draw. They were Simona Halep, Irina
Begu, Monica Niculescu, Sorana Cîrstea, Ana Bogdan and Patricia Ţig. Bogdan and
Tig had come straight from the qualifiers. The first disheartening surprise was
provided by the world's number 4 tennis player Simona Halep, also a 4-seed in
Melbourne. Halep was outperformed by American contender WTA 57 Shelby Rogers
6-3, 6-1. Simona said her poor run in the game against Rodgers was because of
an older knee injury.
Simona Halep: "After I played in Shenzhen, I was in pain every day. I was aware my leg
wouldn't hold long, but I was pretty much ok when I entered the court. Even if you know you're not a hundred per
cent fit, you try to stay there mentally, and stop thinking negatively, so to
speak. However, in the second set it
was already hard for me to chase the
ball so I got even weaker. I've worked very hard all this time, even if things
have not been going my way. Now I need to see what the problem is with my leg.
Actually I know what is wrong with it, but I must see to it that I do something
to have a quick recovery. I might not be able to play for a while. I just want
to get well, my knee is very sensitive. It's the first time I have knee
problems, and I don't want things to get worse. It's just the first month of
the year, I still have 9, 10 months ahead...There are lots of tournaments. Of
course this Grand Slam is a lost cause, and I will not focus necessarily on
winning a Grand Slam tournament any more, I only need to do my best on court
and play the best as I can. Now we shall see what happens next. "
Ana Bogdan and Patricia Ţig were also eliminated from the competition in the
first round. Quite surprisingly, Niculescu was overpowered by WTA 189 Russia's
Ana Blinkova, 6-2, 4-6, 6-4. Blinkova came straight from the qualifiers. Ana
Bogdan was defeated by another Russian, WTA number 18 Elena Vesnina, 7-5, 6-2,
while Patricia Ţig was ousted by Porto Rican challenger Monica Puig, 6-0, 6-1.
Qualifying for the second round were Irina Begu, who defeated Kazakhstan's Yaroslava Shvedova, 5-7, 6-3,
6-4 and Sorana Cârstea, who secured a 6-2, 6-1 win against Russian Irina
Hromacheva. However, Begu was unable to go past the second round, as on
Wednesday she sustained a 6-4, 7-6 defeat in the game against the Czech Kristyna Pliskova.
In the men's
doubles, the 9-seed Tecau and his Dutch teammate Jean-Julien Rojer secured a
7-6, 7-6 win against the German - Russian pair made of Philipp Petzschner and
Mikhail Yuzhny. Last year Tecău and Rojer reached as far as the quarterfinals
in Melbourne. The other Romanian playing in Melbourne, Florin Mergea, pairing
up with British Dominic Inglot, secured a 6-2, 7-5 win against the
all-Australian pair made of Luke Saville and Jordan Thompson.