Here is how we got here. Simona Halep has had a lot of highs and lows on hard courts. Let’s start with the highs. A massive win in Toronto gave me hope that maybe, just maybe this is her year to win the Open. Then there is the matter of those injury enforced retirements in Washington and Cincinnati , then I got to thinking that maybe she isn’t quite ready yet. Still, you got to have fancied her against qualifier Daria Snigur of the Ukraine in the first round on Monday. Snigur ranked 124 in the world , competing in her first Grand Slam main draw showed no nerves at all. Best aspects of the Ukrainian’s game is her angled backhand cross court. She get a lot of back lift when making the shots generating power, but what impressed most is the direction she gets on the groundstrokes. Case in point, first point 30-40 for her first break of the match. Simona was committing so many errors , first set was over in 8 games. She had her moments though.
The Jekyll and Hyde performance epitomized by that dominant second set from the Romanian. What was the best from her? Passing shots especially attacking the weaker second serve. Daria tends to slow her serve way too much for my liking when under double fault jeopardy. Similar to Simona, she goes for the angled slice on serves. Check out 1-0 Snigur third set 15-15. My point of the match was in the same game on break back point for Halep 30-40. I truly believe that was the point that ultimately cost her the match. Halep did ever so well defensively to stay in the point, Daria’s two forehands were not good enough to close out the point, nor was that overhead smash. The passing shot was on thereafter from Simona, she needed the right execution, down the line would be what doc ordered. Snigur would have two chances to serve out the match, at 5-2 and 5-4. Before that, paragraph one above refers, 2-1 Snigur first point. Snigur would make the second chance to serve out count at 5-4. Simona showed grit and conjured up smart winners to push Daria. It goes to show closing out the match is the hardest part of it. Simona crashing a backhand on the net cord at 5-4(40-30). Those unforced errors really letting her down. We love ourselves a good upset, this one is the biggest of the US Open this year. Daria wearing the Ukrainian colors on her heart as well as her attire, worthy winner.