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Halep Keeps Cool After Defeat

Halep Keeps Cool After Defeat

Simona Halep is refusing to panic after her first match in more than three months ended in defeat at the Sydney International.

The World number one, who is currently working without a coach, cut short the 2018 season in an effort to recover from a niggling back injury that had been hampering her.

Related: Djokovic Through In Paris

Halep was back on court in Sydney but suffered a 6-4 6-4 defeat at the hands of Australia’s Ashleigh Barty, after receiving a bye in the first round of the tournament.

Halep, who was runner-up at the Australian Open last year was happy to report there were no issues with her back, with the first grand slam event of 2019 set to begin on Monday. “No pain at all, that is a great sign,” she said. “The tennis is good, I just have to believe in myself more.”

World number 15 Barty fired 26 winners on her way to her first victory over a world number one and she will now face Belgian 10th seed Elise Mertens in the next round.

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