World primary Simona Halep admitted she was struggling for type after narrowly surviving a first-round scare on the Australian Open Tuesday, saying she had “no expectations” about how far she will be able to go on the season-opening Grand Slam.
The Romanian needed to dig deep for a come-from-behind win towards Kaia Kanepi, the unseeded Estonian who dumped her from final 12 months’s US Open first spherical.
Halep mentioned she was pleased with the combat she confirmed grinding out a 6-7 (2/7), 6-4, 6-2 victory, however conceded it was not the kind of efficiency anticipated of the highest seed and French Open champion.
“I’m simply blissful that I might win,” she mentioned. “Nothing else issues as a result of I’m not on the highest stage of my tennis. I’m simply making an attempt to really feel good on courtroom and to enhance daily.”
The 27-year-old confirmed no signal of the again harm that ended her season prematurely final 12 months, as a substitute she merely struggled to deal with the Estonian’s highly effective groundstrokes.
“At one level I didn’t know what to do any extra as a result of the ball was coming so robust. I simply thought I’ve to be robust on the legs, to be there nearer to the road. If I went again, I’d not have an opportunity to return the balls,” she mentioned.
Halep got here to Melbourne Park on a five-match dropping streak, equalling the worst run of her profession.
Her horror present at Flushing Meadows would have been repeated if Kanepi had not undermined her personal trigger with a mammoth 62 unforced errors and 5 double faults.
The Estonian outgunned Halep with 40 winners to 25, underlining her opponent’s current struggles.
Expectations for her Australian marketing campaign had been initially excessive after she misplaced an epic last to Caroline Wozniacki final 12 months.
Halep later admitted the defeat “broke me a bit bit” till she claimed her personal maiden Slam at Roland Garros.
However the again harm, poor type and an amicable break up from Australian coach Darren Cahill — who left to spend extra time together with his household — have shaken her confidence.
She mentioned Melbourne Park appeared “bizarre and hard” with out her native mentor, though that they had been in touch since she arrived in Australia.
She mentioned there was no hurry to discover a substitute.
“I’m simply chilling for the second and we are going to see after this event. I’ve no expectations as a result of I’m not on the highest stage. However I’m motivated. So it’s simply sort of taking out the stress a bit bit,” she mentioned.
Halep mentioned her relaxed angle was partly as a result of she had an prolonged low season and arrived in Australia later than traditional.
“I had a traditional life for 2 months, which is nice,” she mentioned, explaining she was “exhausted” after final season’s breakthrough efforts.
She insisted she was unconcerned about dropping the primary rating if she did not go deep within the event.
“It’s not in my thoughts,” she mentioned. “I completed three years at primary, the rating doesn’t matter any extra. “I play tennis as a result of I prefer it. Now my problem is to win each match I play.”