Defending champion Simona Halep has eased her way into the last 16 of the French Open with a straight sets win over Lesia Tsurenko. The Romanian, who is the third seed for this year’s tournament in Paris, needed just 55 minutes to see off her Ukrainian opponent 6-2 6-1.
Tsurenko failed to hold any of her eight service games during the contest on Philippe Chatrier Court, although Halep, who was taken to three sets in each of her opening two rounds, felt it was anything but an easy victory. “It was a tough match even if the scoreline does not show it,” Halep said. The 27-year-old’s only Grand Slam success to date was at Roland Garros 12 months ago and she says the memory of that success is what is driving her forward this year.
“Every day in my life I have that image of me winning last year in my mind, it was my greatest moment of my career,” Halep added. Halep faces a potentially favourable run through to the semi-finals in Paris, as she cannot face another seed until the last four – where she is likely to come up against either world number one Naomi Osaka or 23–time Grand Slam winner Serena Williams.