Simona Halep reacts to surviving scare versus lucky loser in Roland Garros opener



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Simona Halep reacts to surviving scare versus lucky loser in Roland Garros opener

Former world No. 1 Simona Halep didn't make a convincing start to her French Open campaign but she was glad that she was able to escape with a victory. On Tuesday, 2018 French Open champion Halep overcame lucky loser Nastasja Schunk 6-4 1-6 6-1 to progress into the second round at the French Open.

Halep easily lost the second set but was able to bounce back in the third set and avoid a shock loss. "In the third set, I restarted everything. I just fought for every ball. I restarted in my mind. I did what I had to do, and I felt more confident, I felt better, so I found the rhythm.

I'm happy with the way I finished the match," Halep said, per the WTA website.

Halep survives a scare in her French Open first round match

Schunk had a 4-2 lead through the first six games but Halep responded by winning four consecutive games as she broke the German in the seventh and ninth games to steal the first set.

Failing to close out the first set didn't affect Schunk, who started the second set with a 5-0 lead, before serving out for a decider in the seventh game. Halep bounced back impressively from losing the second set as she took a comfortable 5-0 lead in the decider, before serving out for the match in the seventh game to set up a Qinven Zheng meeting.

Meanwhile, 11th-seeded Jessica Pegula also experienced some problems but was able to close out her match and clinch a 6-2 6-4 win over Qiang Wang. Pegula had a 6-2 5-1 lead but Wang saved three match points in the eighth game and three more match points in the ninth game to reduce the deficit to 5-4 in the second set.

Luckily for Pegula, she was able to keep her focus after blowing six match points as she broke Wang in the 10th game, when the Chinese was serving to stay in the match. "I felt like she totally changed her game from like 6-1, 5-1 and maybe I played a little bit of a loose game at 5-1 serving for it.

On the clay I feel like you have so much more time and you don't get a lot of free points, so if someone starts playing well, it can get really tricky," Pegula said. "She just started stepping in and started ripping ... We had some really great match points and even to finish."