Simona Halep battled her way past Caroline Garcia at the Miami Open before admitting a shoulder injury hampered her performance.
The world number three, playing her first match in five weeks, started slowly and was well short of her best in the first set.
Things were looking increasingly grim when she called for a medical timeout in the second set, and it appeared only a matter of time before she lost the match.
She, though, was able to find another gear afterwards, and powered her way to the a 3-6, 6-4, 6-0 win.
“I struggled with my serve,” Halep revealed after the match. I struggled with my shoulder a little bit, so the attention was a little bit on the pain.
“[After that], I started to relax myself, to try to not think about the result, just to loosen up the arm, the body, and then I started actually to move her a little bit more to the forehand. Then I started to get confidence that I can come back.
“When I came here, I didn’t feel pain. I was really good. But then I practiced some tough sets with other players and I started to feel again.
“And now it’s getting a little bit worse. But I just feel it when I serve, so I’m trying just to do the recovery as much as possible to serve better, because today it was very slow.
“I will see how it’s gonna hold next days.”
On the match itself, Halep added: “She (Garcia) started very well and her serve bothered me a lot, the kick. I needed time to get used to it and to get the rhythm.
“I felt like in the second set I start moving better. I relax my legs and I could work more with my legs. I needed a little bit of extra power with her because she’s a powerful opponent, and I have always to push her back.”
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