Former world number one Simona Halep of Romania qualified for the second round of the US Open with a 6-4 7-6(7-3) victory over Italy’s Camila Giorgi on Monday.
The two-time Grand Slam champion battled back from injury and produced six aces. She dominated with her service game which enabled her to earn victory.
The 29-year-old Romanian took all three of the break points she forced, while her opponent had six break points but only managed to take two of them.
The 12th seed had added intensity from screaming ticketholders, who had to prove they were vaccinated to be allowed onto the grounds.
„You feel the energy. You feel alive on court,” she said after the match. „Hopefully it will stay like that.”
Halep, the 2018 French Open and 2019 Wimbledon champion, tore a left calf muscle at the Italian Open, missed the French Open and Wimbledon, then suffered a right thigh injury at Cincinnati, but made a solid start.
„I’m confident,” Halep said. „I believed I had a good chance and I handled well the important points of the match.
Ms Halep had been forced to miss the French Open and Wimbledon earlier in the summer as a result of a calf tear in her left leg.
She now seems fit enough to compete in America, as she too on Italy’s Camila Giorgi in the first round of the US Open.