May 24, 2015 / 11:32 AM / 2 years ago

Halep huffs and puffs into French Open second round

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Simona Halep of Romania plays a shot to Evgeniya Rodina of Russia during their women's singles match at the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, France, May 24, 2015.Vincent Kessler

PARIS (Reuters) - Last year's runner-up Simona Halep huffed and puffed past Russian Evgeniya Rodina as the French Open began on Sunday, the Romanian reaching the second round 7-5 6-4.

The third seed was never really threatened but let her guard down too many times for comfort against a willing opponent on a sun-drenched court Philippe Chatrier.

Halep, the top name in action in the women's draw on day one, broke twice to open a 4-1 lead, only for Rodina to hit back and level at 5-5.

The Russian let another service game slip from her hands with a double fault and Halep clinched the set with a drop shot.

She broke decisively in the ninth game of the second set and wrapped it up with an ace.

"I was a little bit stressed today because it is never easy to start such a tournament," Halep, who lost to Russian Maria Sharapova in last year's final, told a courtside interviewer.

She will next face either Croatian Mirjana Lucic-Baroni or American Lauren Davis.

Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Martyn Herman

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