Unlike her first round match, Simona Halep stormed through the second round to set up an encounter with Mirjana Lucic-Baroni in Flushing Meadows. This is the first time these two competitors will meet on the professional tour and could make for an intriguing encounter.
Following her troubling first round match, many wondered how the Romanian would handle her encounter against a player who dethroned Serena Williams earlier this year in Charleston. Fortunately for Halep, she was able to comfortably ease into the third round of the US Open with a 6-2, 6-1 victory over Jana Cepelova. Apart from a small hiccup in the start of the match, Halep dominated the 56 minute encounter.
“I started a little bit slow, but then I took a step forward in the court so I could take the ball earlier,” Halep said. “I ended up returning very well. And also my serve helped me in some of the more important moments. I did a great job today, and I’m really happy with my game.
“I’m more confident than I ever have been. I’m prepared to stay on the court a long time if necessary. I like to fight. I’m taking it match by match and am ready for the next round.”
Mirjana Lucic-Baroni needed three sets to get past Shahar Peer 6-7, 6-3, 6-2 and set up a third round match-up with Halep. The Croat struck 8 aces, 78% of her first service points as well as 41 winners to close out the match in 2 hours and 5 minutes.
This marks the first time these two competitors will cross paths on the professional tour and is a contest that should favour the No. 2 seed. Considering her strong performance in the second round, Halep should manage her way through this encounter with relative ease.
Prediction: Simona Halep in Straight Sets