French Open 2018: Simona Halep beats Alison Riske to reach second round

Simona Halep
Romania's Simona Halep was a beaten finalist in both the 2014 and 2017 French Open
French Open 2018
Venue: Roland Garros, Paris Dates: 27 May-10 June
Coverage: Daily live radio and text commentaries on BBC Radio 5 live, the BBC Sport website and app.

World number one Simona Halep began her bid for a first Grand Slam title with a gutsy fightback in her rain-delayed French Open first-round match.

Halep, last year's runner-up, lost the first set before recovering to win 2-6 6-1 6-1 against American Alison Riske.

Australian Open champion and second seed Caroline Wozniacki cruised into the third round with a 6-1 6-0 victory over Spain's Georgina Garcia Perez.

Fourth seed Elina Svitolina and eighth seed Petra Kvitova also went through.

Ukraine's Svitolina reached the last 32 with a 6-3 6-4 success over Slovakia's Viktoria Kuzmova while Czech star Kvitova, a two-time Wimbledon champion, beat Spain's Lara Arruabarrena 6-0 6-4.

Serena Williams, meanwhile, wore her 'Black Panther' catsuit again as she teamed up with sister Venus to beat Japan's Shuko Aoyama and Miyu Kato 4-6 6-4 6-1 in the women's doubles first round.

The 36-year-old American first wore the outfit, inspired by the Black Panther movie blockbuster, during her opening singles win on Tuesday.

Serena Williams and Venus Williams
Serena and Venus won the doubles title in Paris in 1999 and 2010

Halep overcomes slow start

Two-time French Open finalist Halep has spent much of the past seven months as the world's leading female player, despite never transferring her consistency on tour into lifting one of tennis' most prestigious prizes.

Halep lost to unseeded Latvian Jelena Ostapenko in the Roland Garros final last year, one of six defeats in a showpiece over the past year.

But reaching a second final in Paris looked a long way off as she made a woeful start in a match which originally supposed to be played on Tuesday.

The 26-year-old Romanian hit 16 unforced errors in a opening set, but then won nine of the next 10 games to take control.

Riske, who is Johanna Konta's doubles partner, stemmed the tide by claiming the fourth game of the final set, but only managed to win another 12 points in a final set which Halep won in 28 minutes.

Halep put her sluggish start down to pre-match nerves, which she said were not caused by the extra pressure of finally landing her first major prize.

"I didn't feel the pressure, because I know that every match is tough at this tournament, so I don't expect anything," she said.

"I think the nerves are really good. It means that you care about what you are doing and your desire is really big."

Halep will face Riske's compatriot Taylor Townsend in the second round.

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