Halep recovers from first set woe to make French Open second round

Paris (AFP) –


World number one and top seed Simona Halep recovered from a disastrous first set to reach the French Open second round on Wednesday with a 2-6, 6-1, 6-1 win over Alison Riske of the United States.

Halep, the runner-up in Paris in 2014 and 2017, slumped 0-5 down in the opening set to world number 83 Riske whose only win at the tournament came in 2014.

The Romanian committed 16 unforced errors in the set but stepped up a gear from that point on to book a second-round match against Taylor Townsend of the United States.

"It's always difficult in the first round of a Grand Slam, you are always nervous," said Halep whose opening round match had been cancelled on Tuesday due to torrential rain.

"But I started to run more, played better and kept more balls in play."

Halep needs to reach the semi-finals or better if she is to retain the world top spot.