Romanian tennis player Simona Halep defeated Lucie Safarova (Czech Republic, 17 WTA) on Thursday 6-4, 7-5 to reach the quarter-finals in Cincinnati, after a game that lasted an hour and 29 minutes.
Halep, the new world No. 2, who will rise to that new ranking in September following the US Open Series, did not appear to have any rust to shake off early on in her Cincinnati opener against Kirsten Flipkens. The Romanian stormed to a 5-1 lead, and while her Belgian opponent managed to level the score again, Halep would pick up the pace and close out the match 6-4, 6-2.
One of the better first round matches played on Tuesday was between Lucie Safarova and Venus Williams, which saw Safarova rally from a set down to win 6-7(2), 6-3, 6-4. The third set was particularly intriguing, as Safarova held a 5-1 lead before Williams won three consecutive games to bring the match to 5-4.