Simona Halep recovers from slow start to make second round

Fourth seed Elina Svitolina through to third round

Top seed Simona Halep recovered from a slow start to reach the second round of the French Open.

The Romanian, a two-time runner-up at Roland Garros, found herself 5-0 down to American Alison Riske in Wednesday's opening match on Court Philippe Chatrier.

Riske went on to take the first set but Halep finally woke up and dropped just two more games in registering a 2-6 6-1 6-1 victory.

Halep, still hunting a maiden Grand Slam title, will face another American, Taylor Townsend, in round two.

Halep refused to blame the rain delay, which prevented her from playing Tuesday evening, for her sluggish beginning.

“I had a slow start because it’s always tough to start this tournament,” she said.

“It’s a pleasure to come here and to play, so always I feel nervous at the beginning.

“But it was good that I came back so strong. I felt really well in the end of the match, and that’s the most important for now.”

In the second round, fourth seed Elina Svitolina, of Ukraine, breezed past Slovakian Viktoria Kuzmova 6-3 6-4.

Petra Kvitova, the Czech eighth seed, was untroubled by Lara Arruaberra of Spain in a 6-0 6-4 victory to take her into the third round, where she will face Estonia's Anett Kontaveit.


Women's singles first round
(1) Simona Halep (Rom) bt Alison Riske (USA) 2-6 6-1 6-1

Second round
(2) Caroline Wozniacki (Den) bt Georgina Garcia Perez (Spa) 6-1 6-0
(4) Elina Svitolina (Ukr) bt Viktoria Kuzmova (Svk) 6-3 6-4
(8) Petra Kvitova (Cze) bt Lara Arruabarrena (Esp) 6-0 6-4
(13) Madison Keys (USA) bt Caroline Dolehide (USA) 6-4 6-1
(21) Naomi Osaka (Jpn) bt Zarina Diyas (Kaz) 6-4 7-5
(25) Anett Kontaveit (Est) bt Alexandra Dulgheru (Rom) 7-5 6-2
(26) Barbora Zahlavova Strycova (Cze) bt Ekaterina Makarova (Rus) 6-4 6-2
(31) Mihaela Buzarnescu (Rom) bt Rebecca Peterson (Swe) 6-1 6-2
Katerina Siniakova (Cze) bt Kateryna Kozlova (Ukr) 6-7 (4-7) 6-4 6-4
Yulia Putintseva (Kaz) bt Jennifer Brady (USA) 6-4 6-3
Qiang Wang (Chn) bt Petra Martic (Cro) 6-1 6-1