Simona Halep kicked off her 2022 season with a comprehensive victory over qualifier Destanee Aiava at the Melbourne Summer Set on Wednesday. The former World No. 1 put in a dominant display to beat the Australian in straight sets.
The pair traded breaks to open the first set, before Halep took control of the match by breaking in the ninth game and serving out the set. The Romanian switched gears in the second, breaking twice to win 6-2.
Simona Halep vs Destanee Aiava Score
Simona Halep beat Destannee Aiava 6-4, 6-2.
Simona Halep vs Destanee Aiava Winner
Simona Halep beat Destanee Aiava in straight sets to advance to the second round. The second seed will next face compatriot Elena-Gabriela Ruse, who beat Arina Rodionova.
Simona Halep vs Destanee Aiava Recap
The former World No. 1 got off to a shaky start as Aiava broke her in the very first game. However, Halep bounced back strongly and broke immediately to level proceedings.
Both players held serve for the next six games, before Halep made her move. The Romanian broke to take a 5-4 lead and reeled off four points on the trot to clinch the first set 6-4. The only blip for the 30-year-old in the first set was the fact that she served two double faults.
Halep pulled away from Aiava in the second set. She broke the 21-year-old’s serve in the opening game and stayed strong on her own delivery. After cruising through a couple of service games, the Romanian broke again to go 5-2 up. She then held her serve to love to take the second set and the match.
The win will serve as a huge confidence-booster for Halep, who slipped to 20 in the WTA rankings last year. She looked sharp for most of the match and stayed solid on serve, an area of her game that’s let her down in the past.
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Next up for Halep is Elena-Gabriela Ruse. This will be the second meeting between the two players, having previously locked horns in the first round of last year’s Transylvania Open. Halep won that match 6-1, 6-2.