Tennis: Halep blames 'unprofessional' performance for Wimbledon exit

Halep of Romania in trouble against Su-Wei Hsieh of Taiwan.
Halep of Romania in trouble against Su-Wei Hsieh of Taiwan.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

LONDON (REUTERS) - Simona Halep described her performance as "unprofessional" after the world number one suffered a shock third-round defeat by Taiwan's Hsieh Su-wei at Wimbledon on Saturday (July 7).

The 26-year-old French Open champion never got to grips with the unorthodox Hsieh and lost 3-6 6-4 7-5 despite having a match point in the deciding set on a balmy Court One.

She is the first women's top seed to lose to an unseeded player at Wimbledon for 10 years.

"I will not find the excuses about this match, she deserved to win, but still I'm sad about myself today," she said.

"Definitely I gave everything I had on the game side. I was fighting till the end for every ball.

"I just was too negative to myself, talking too much. I think because I was tired, because I'm tired, I couldn't stay focused for every ball.

"I was leading the match, I was up, and I couldn't finish it. I'm not (being) hard (on myself). I'm just realistic and honest. I accept that it was an unprofessional attitude today."

Halep battled with her own game as well as the crafty spins and tactics of her 48th-ranked opponent but still looked like emerging as the winner when she led 5-2 in the third set.

She had a match point when Hsieh served at 4-5 in the third set but was not adventurous enough on a second-serve return and paid the price as her opponent found the corner with a drilled backhand that was too good for the Romanian.

An inspired Hsieh claimed the last five games to post her second shock win of the year after downing Garbine Muguruza at the Australian Open.

Halep has already played 44 matches on the WTA Tour this year, reaching the Australian Open final and becoming the first Romanian for 40 years to win a Grand Slam title when she prevailed in the French Open final.

 

She said she was in need of a rest, probably two or three weeks before focusing on the US Open.

"I think mentally I was tired. Also physically I feel tired. My muscles are gone," she said.

"But mentally I was tired. I couldn't stay focused, to handle the pressure, the tension of the match."

Asked what she planned to do next she said: "Anything but tennis. Chilling, resting, doing nothing. Just enjoying life. I gave everything I had to tennis this period. Now I want just to spoil myself, to be a normal girl, and enjoy life."