Halep and Svitolina win Aussie Open warm-up events
World No 1 Simona Halep and world No 6 Elina Svitolina kicked off their 2018 campaigns in style as they won the Shenzhen Open and Brisbane International respectively.
Halep was made to work for her first title since the Madrid Open in May as she beat defending champion Katerina Siniakova 6-1, 2-6, 6-0 in China.
Rain in the area meant the match had to be moved indoors, but the Romanian breezed through the opening set before Siniakova hit back strongly in the second.
However, Halep broke her Czech opponent three times in the decider to take the title.
“We had a great match today. I tried everything to win… I just try to enjoy the moment even if it’s a little bit different indoors,” she said.
“It’s not easy but we did our job and I’m happy that I could win the first title of the year.”
Meanwhile, Svitolina continued her fine form as she brushed aside Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-2, 6-1 in Brisbane.
The Ukrainian won five titles last year and she was rarely troubled by world No 88 Sasnovich as she didn’t face any break points.
“It was a tough, tough offseason,” Svitolina said. “To start with a trophy is always very, very special.”
Lawn Tennis Association determined to show commitment to inclusion and diversity
Seven people from diverse backgrounds have been appointed to the LTA Council.
Andy Murray’s tips on how to make sure you stay injury-free when tennis resumes after lockdown
Andy Murray is back with some tips.
WATCH: Kei Nishikori reveals he wanted to be a penguin when he was young
Kei Nishikori with some quality content.
‘He will play top-level tennis again because he is that good’ – Andy Murray on Roger Federer’s return
Andy Murray on Roger Federer’s return.
Tennis Top 10
Top 10 oldest WTA singles champions: Billie Jean King top, but Venus and/or Serena Williams could pip her
A look at your oldest WTA singles title winners.
Serena Williams and her ‘mini-me’ Olympia wear matching catsuits in debut joint fashion campaign
“The adventures of Serena and Olympia continue…”
WATCH: Benoit Paire argues with umpire, spits on mark, crashes out and then Tweets ‘it’s worth it to suck’
Benoit Paire makes controversial exit.
‘Proud’ Victoria Azarenka battles through the pain to beat Elina Svitolina at Qatar Open
Victoria Azarenka gets the better of Elina Svitolina.
Stefanos Tsitsipas impresses in Rotterdam to set up Karen Khachanov clash
Stefanos Tsitsipas retained hopes of a first ATP 500 title.
Comment: Why Andy Murray needs to identify the positives in defeat against Andrey Rublev
A win against a top 10 player will kick-start Murray’s 2021.