Simona Halep was not inspired in US open loss against Taylor Townsend

Updated: Aug 31, 2019, 08:43 IST | AFP |

Reigning Wimbledon champion Simona says she lacked inspiration after shock US Open second-round loss to 116th-ranked qualifier Townsend

Simona Halep reacts during her second-round US Open match against American qualifier Taylor Townsend on Thursday. Pics /AFP
Simona Halep reacts during her second-round US Open match against American qualifier Taylor Townsend on Thursday. Pics /AFP

New York: Simona Halep said she was "not inspired at all" in Thursday's US Open loss to 116th-ranked American qualifier Taylor Townsend as her miserable run in New York continued.

The reigning Wimbledon champion saved a pair of match points but then failed to convert one in the final set of a 2-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7/4) defeat. "I was not inspired at all today, but I fought. I thought when I came back that I will take it and I will win it. But sometimes it goes the other way," Halep said, digesting another early Flushing Meadows exit following first-round losses in 2017 and 2018.

"I'm used to it. It's the third year. I'm disappointed. I had expectations from myself that I'm confident and I feel the game. But today was different. I was very close. I had match ball. But, you know, sometimes it happens.

"She played really well. She really deserved to win it because she gave everything and she didn't think of losing. She went all the way with 100 percent belief."

Fourth seed Halep, whose best US Open run came when she reached the semi-finals in 2015, admitted she struggled to cope with Townsend's committed serve-and-volley approach. "Never, never. I never played with someone coming so often to the net," Halep said. "She was way more inspired than me. Many balls I hit on the sides, she was there. That's why I say I was not inspired. I played all the time where she was."

Halep had not dropped a set in three previous meeting with Townsend, whose victory over the Romanian represented her first over a top-10 player.

Taylor Townsend

The most recent of those clashes came last March in Miami, where Halep imparted some friendly advice to Townsend after she inflicted a 6-1, 6-3 defeat on her.

"After we played together, she came in the locker room and she asked me what she has to improve to be better. So she did it today," Halep said. "Next time I will not say anything," she added.

Osaka cruises as Kvitova goes out

New York: Reigning US Open champion Naomi Osaka eased into the third round on Thursday but Petra Kvitova crashed out as organizers sought to play catch up at Flushing Meadows following heavy rain. Top seed Osaka proved too strong for Magda Linette, sweeping to a 6-2, 6-4 victory and setting up a showdown with 15-year-old American sensation Coco Gauff. Andrea Petkovic knocked out Czech sixth seed Kvitova 6-4, 6-4.

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