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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Tuesday October 18 2021

Simona Halep

Simona Halep, the No.8 seed at Moscow, advanced, but Ons Jabeur wasn't so lucky.

Photo Source: Kremlin Cup

2013 Kremlin Cup champion Simona Halep is intent on the finishing her 2021 campaign strong. The 30-year-old World No.19 took a step in that direction on Tuesday in Russia, defeating Anastasia Potapova 6-1 6-4 to reach the second round of the Kremlin Cup in Moscow.

Tennis Express

Halep, now 6-1 lifetime at the Kremlin Cup, improved to 2-0 against Potopova in 2021.

The opening set was close with Halep coming through four deuce games to take it by a lopsided 6-1 score. The second set was close even on the scoreboard but again Halep came up with the goods as she broke for 5-4 and served the match out after saving three break points in the next game.

Halep, now 17-8 on the season, will face another Russian, 32nd-ranked Veronika Kudermetova, in the second round.

The Romanian had a trying year with regard to injuries, and was forced to miss Roland Garros, Wimbledon and the Olympics. She recently married her longtime fiance, Toni Iuruc, and also parted ways with her longtime coach Darren Cahill.

Kudermetova defeated 18-year-old WTA main draw debutante Oksana Selekhmeteva, 4-6, 7-6(3), 6-4.

Ons Jabeur Falls at First Hurdle

Ons Jabeur’s first match as a Top-10 player didn’t go as planned. The Tunisian, who became the first Arab player – male or female – to crack the Top-10 on Monday, was forced to retire after just one game in the second set, 6-1, 1-0 RET.

Fifth-seeded Jabeur entered the week at 9th in the WTA’s Race to Guadalajara, and was just 92 points behind Paula Badosa for the final spot.

Elsewhere Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit made it 17 wins in 19 matches with a 6-3 6-3 victory over Katerina Siniakova in 73 minutes.

Kontaveit will face Andrea Petkovic in the second round.

Marketa Vondrousova was also a winner on Tuesday, upsetting seventh-seeded Elena Rybakina 6-4 6-4.


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