Two-time Grand Slam Champion Simona Halep took an unexpected early exit in the first round of the US Open losing to Daria Snigur, who was making her main draw Grand Slam debut.
Halep has had a turbulent time in tennis over the last couple of years. Hindered by injury and battling some mental challenges with anxiety, Halep seemed to have found her groove again.
The Romanian, who won the Canadian Open earlier this month, lost the first set, but fought back to win the second before succumbing to the defeat, losing 2-6, 6-0, 4-6.
After the match, former Grand Slam winner now turned tennis analyst Mats Wilander told Eurosport of his surprise at the result. "We didn’t see it coming but Daria Snigur has a very unorthodox style so she’s not easy to play against on a hard court especially.
"Simona looks to me like she really wants to win but maybe the drive, the need to win matches is not quite as strong as when she was younger" he continued.
"Today, it was hot, it was tough, she has had some early losses in the US Open in the past – this is most probably her worst major I think. Am I surprised, of course? Disappointing for sure."
Meanwhile fellow Eurosport analyst, Barbara Schett, said she thought this might be Halep's year after previous disappointing US Open results.
The US Open is the only Grand Slam that the Romanian hasn't reached the final of, her best performance coming in 2015 when she reached the semi's.
"I thought this was the year that I thought she (Halep) could so some damage. She won the tournament in Toronto so I thought this could be her time but it seems like the US Open and Simona Halep never seem to go well together" said Schett.
"She just has to look ahead to next year, hopefully she stays motivated, she has found her passion for tennis again and it’s about going back to the practice and looking forwards. But there’s no doubt this was disappointing."
Ukranian player Daria Snigur, who is ranked 125th in the world, will now face Canadian Rebecca Marino in the next round.
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