In a day that has already seen defeats for Karolina Pliskova and Petra Kvitova you wouldn’t be surprised at another upset in Beijing with maybe a few nerves to begin with from Simona Halep as she takes on Lara Arruabarrena for the fourth time having won their previous matches in straight sets.
Halep got on the board first breaking Lara’s serve for a 1-0 lead but struggling to move around the court as she is suffering from an Achillies problem and with her place in Singapore confirmed a while ago isn’t it better to withdraw and recover ahead of Singapore? Halep was broken back immediately for 1-1.
Another break of serve followed as Halep went 2-1 up in the set but still struggling off that left foot. The first service hold went to Halep taking a 3-1 lead but would she last the whole match? It took just 5 games for Halep to call on the trainer leading 3-2.
It did look like that would be it for Halep but she continued after receiving a medical time out with more tap being added to her ankle. To be this injured in the first round and just five games into the tournament and continue as matches will get tougher is bizarre.
Halep was immediately broken back for 3-3 after the break in play. Arruabarrena extended her lead to 4-3 winning three games in a row and for the second time in the set Halep called on the trainer. There was only a mini-break in play as she received treatment for a problem with her left calf. How long can this continue? Lara went up 5-4 on serve but can she find the breakthrough in the set?
She didn’t have to find the breakthrough as Halep decided to call it day and retired 4-5 down on serve in the set.
It was the fourth retirement of the day in Singapore (Halep, Vandeweghe, Tsurenko, Diyas) as well as first round defeats for Kvitova and Pliskova!