Halep progresses in Paris despite second-set blip

Paris (AFP) –


Reigning champion Simona Halep started her French Open title defence with an ultimately comfortable victory on Tuesday despite a second-set blip against Australian Ajla Tomljanovic.

The Romanian was pegged back on Court Philippe Chatrier but raced through the decider to win 6-2, 3-6, 6-1.

Halep, seeded third, will face Poland's Magda Linette in the second round.

The 27-year-old, who won her maiden Grand Slam title in Paris last year after three previous final defeats, looked to be in total control after taking the first set in under half an hour.

Tomljanovic, who reached the last 16 in 2014, hit back though to level the match.

But Halep, like world number one Naomi Osaka in the preceding match on the show court, avoided an upset by easing through the third set despite being broken when initially serving for the match.

Halep finished an accomplished display with 19 winners and 22 unforced errors.