Beijing: Simona Halep was beaten in the second round of the China Open tennis tournament here Monday by Russia’s Ekaterina Alexandrova. However, as the match progressed it appeared that Romanian Simona Halep was struggling with a back injury.
The 28-year-old reigning Wimbledon champion lost 2-6, 3-6, in 64 minutes here to bring her tournament to an early end.
Halep, fifth in the world now, was far from her best as she went down meekly to the 38th-ranked Alexandrova. She was also forced out of last week’s Wuhan Open because of her troublesome back.
Meanwhile in another match Canadian teenager Bianca Andreescu had to dig deep as she won her first match since her US Open heroics. The 19-year-old Bianca Andreescu defeated the 60th-ranked Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus 6-2, 2-6, 6-1 in what was at times an unconvincing performance. Andreescu finished the match with 31 unforced errors.
The World No.6, who stunned Serena Williams in the final at Flushing Meadows, arrived here on a run of 13 wins in a row. She looked all set to carry on her blistering form against Sasnovich and emphatically captured the first set.
But Andreescu struggled with her serve in the second, totting up six double faults and was in danger of losing her cool in the haze of the Chinese capital.
Normal order was restored in the deciding set with Andreescu breaking Sasnovich’s first service game and then holding her own to take a 3-0 lead and an advantage she refused to surrender.
In round two the Canadian sensation plays Elise Mertens, the World No. 23 from Belgium.