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French Open: Halep crashes out after impressive Zheng comeback

By Andrew Steel

Paris, May 26: Former world number one Simona Halep is out of the French Open after crumbling from a one-set lead against Zheng Qinwen in the second round on Thursday.

The 2018 Roland Garros champion, the most experienced player in the draw at this year's competition, fell to a 2-6 6-2 6-1 loss against her unseeded opponent.

Halep, who is now coached by Serena Williams' former coach Patrick Mouratoglou, is the latest big name to suffer an early exit on clay this year.

The 30-year-old, who fought off a comeback from lucky loser Nastasja Schunk on Tuesday, looked to be cruising after the first set.

But Halep failed to navigate a fiery response from Zheng, who blazed through the second set to tie things up before an impressive rout in the third in her first appearance in Paris.

It marks revenge for the teenager as well, having fallen to Halep at the semi-final stage of the Melbourne Summer Set 1 earlier this year.

It continues a mixed 2022 for the Romanian so far, whose best finishes were victory in Victoria, followed by reaching the final four at the Dubai Tennis Championships and Indian Wells Masters.

Zheng will now face either 13th seed Jelena Ostapenko or France's Alize Cornet in the third round, with the pair set to play later on Thursday.

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Story first published: Thursday, May 26, 2022, 22:20 [IST]
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