Halep wins under roof to reach third round at U.S. Open

Thu Sep 1, 2016 2:14pm EDT
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By Steve Keating

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Romanian fifth seed Simona Halep advanced to the third round of the U.S. Open with a 6-3 6-4 win over Lucie Safarova on Thursday in the first full match played under a closed roof at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

The $150 million retractable roof was installed ahead of this year's tournament and guaranteed there would be at least some action on a muggy and overcast Day Four at the year's final grand slam.

"It was a little bit (of an adjustment)," Halep said about playing under the roof. "But I had the chance to warm up in the morning before the match.

"I don't want to say anything bad because it wasn't bad. Had a nice feeling.

"It was a great experience to be there. I didn't have to wait for the rain, so that's a good thing."

The roof, which has been a huge source of fascination for the Flushing Meadows crowds, was first used on Wednesday when it was put into action in the middle of Rafa Nadal's second-round victory over Andreas Seppi.

On a midweek morning session with the roof closed and a sparse crowd sprinkled through the massive stadium, Arthur Ashe had a vacuous, sterile atmosphere.

But more importantly, with rain delaying action on the other courts, play went ahead as scheduled on the main court where Halep needed 88 minutes to dismiss an error-prone Safarova, a two-time grand slam doubles champion, who committed a whopping 44 unforced errors.   Continued...

Sept 1, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Simona Halep of Romania celebrates after defeating Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic (not pictured) on day four of the 2016 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports