‘I didn’t take my chances’ – Bianca Andreescu frustrated after losing to Simona Halep in Shenzhen
Simona Halep got the better of Bianca Andreesecu in a brilliantly absorbing match-up at the WTA Finals in Shenzhen.
The pair had never met, but Wimbledon champion Halep battled back from losing the first set to over come Andreescu, who won the US Open, 3-6, 7-6 (8-6), 6-3 in the Purple Group.
Halep was on the back-foot for much of the match against the surprise US Open winner, losing four straight games in the opening set and twice surrendering a break in the second.
Andreescu held match point on Halep’s serve in the 12th game of the set but the Romanian battled back to force and win a tight tie-break, then had to come from behind again after falling a break down early in the third.
Halep said: “I’m really proud that I could fight in this way because I had a month when I didn’t really practice with my back injury, but it looks like I’m still there.
“I’m really proud actually that I could fight in this way because I have a month that I didn’t really practice with my back, with the injury, but it looks like I’m still there.
“Today, it was a challenge because she’s 10 years younger than me. It was a good fight. I’m happy about my victory.”
Andreescu is aiming to cap a magnificent season with victory in Shenzhen and admitted she would learn much from the experience of pushing Halep so close.
The Canadian said: “I think I was executing the right tactics and I didn’t feel intimidated at all stepping onto the court.
“It was a good match. She fought really hard. I didn’t take my chances in the second set and I am really disappointed about that.”
Defending champion Elina Svitolina was also made to fight hard before seeing off Karolina Pliskova 7-6 (12-10), 6-4 in the opening match of the day.
Svitolina came from a break down in the opening set and saved a set point in a marathon tie-break, in which she finally took advantage of a seventh set point of her own.
Svitolina also fell a break down in the second set but battled back strongly to win four of the last five games for a straight-sets victory.
Svitolina said: “You tell yourself to stay in the moment and you just try to play one rally at a time and not rush.
“I had to be really mentally tough and try to not think so much because obviously she’s a great player. I had to expect that she would step up her game.”
Andy Murray not teaming up with Serena Williams in Wimbledon mixed doubles
Murray will play singles at the All England Club for the first time since 2017.
From Simona Halep to Coco Gauff – The contenders for the women’s Wimbledon title
Ten women to watch at the All England Club.
Wimbledon will look very different this year – here is what to expect
Centre Court will host capacity crowds for the men’s and women’s finals.
From Novak Djokovic to Roger Federer – Contenders for the men’s Wimbledon title
Ten players to watch at the All England Club.
Wimbledon is ‘very odd’ home away from home for British hopeful Johanna Konta
Konta is one of 14 British players in the singles main draws for this year’s Championships.
Five big talking points ahead of Wimbledon’s return after a two-year break
The championships are back after the 2020 break due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Ons Jabeur creates a slice of tennis history with a win in the LTA Viking Classic
Ons Jabeur earned herself a place in the history books with her 7-5 6-4 win over Daria Kasatkina in the LTA Viking Classic final.
Shock result in Halle Open final as Andrey Rublev is beaten
Ugo Humbert stunned world number seven Andrey Rublev in straight sets to lift the Halle Open title.
Coco Gauff looks ahead to a return to the scene of her greatest triumphs
The American’s career took off in 2019 when she made it to the fourth round at SW19.
Matteo Berrettini ends hopes of a new British winner at Queen’s Club
Norrie, 25, was attempting to become only the second Brit to win at Queen’s, after Andy Murray, since the Second World War.