Tennis: Smooth French Open progress for Halep as ankle holds up

Halep returns the ball to Slovakia's Jana Cepelova.
Halep returns the ball to Slovakia's Jana Cepelova.PHOTO: AFP

PARIS (REUTERS) - Romanian third seed Simona Halep moved smoothly into the French Open second round on Tuesday (May 30) with a 6-2 6-3 win over Slovakia's Jana Cepelova, showing no ill effects from the ankle ligament she tore less than two weeks ago.

Having come close to pulling out of the tournament due the injury, sustained in a losing cause in the Italian Open final, the Romanian faced a potentially tricky first-round outing against a player she lost to the last time they met, at Wimbledon in 2015.

But tapping into the rich vein of form on clay that also took her to the Madrid Open title in mid-May, Halep's groundstrokes were too fast and too accurate for Cepelova, who made 23 forced and 29 unforced errors.

"Today was a great day for me. I really played well," she said courtside.

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Halep faces Germany's Tatjana Maria in the second round.