Simona Halep needed little more than an hour to complete a straight-sets thrashing of Donna Vekic at the Canadian Open.
Halep, a two-time champion of the event, has been in resurgent form in 2022 and was in excellent form virtually from the off in Toronto.
The Romanian, seeded 15th, had break points in every one of her opponent’s service games, eventually taking a comfortable 6-0, 6-2 victory.
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“She’s certainly laid down the mantle, hasn’t she?” Croft said on Amazon Prime. “The way she is moving around the court, she is efficient and just so clinical with the ball-striking as we often see.
“She is a very rhythmical tennis player.
“Her movement was spectacular. The way she was moving around the court, keeping Vekic on the run, [she was able to] keep that ball out of position for Vekic to use her power from the back of the court.”
It proved the theme of the opening set, Halep breaking her error-prone opponent twice more to tie up a 1-0 report without undue fuss in just 21 minutes.
Halep’s dominance continued in the second, with Vekic regularly able to force Halep on to the back foot but driving a series of reasonably simple winners errant.
But the 26-year-old did at last stop the rot, saving two break points to at last get on the board with a gritty hold.
It proved only temporary respite, Halep breaking to love and a 3-1 second-set lead.
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Halep has re-found her returning mojo this year and appeared largely untroubled by Vekic’s usually bothersome serve throughout the contest.
And a powerful return and comfortable approach down the centre sealed another, final break and a comprehensive straight sets victory in 61 minutes.
“I am really pleased with the way I played today,” Halep said afterwards.
“For sure, it gives me confidence. The way I played, it is not about the result, it is more how I played. I’ve been very aggressive and I played fast.
“That’s my goal – I’m trying to do that every day.”
Halep will next face the winner of the first round match between Zhang Shuai and Cristina Bucsa.
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Source: Euro Sports