World No. 2 Simona Halep beats Kateryna Bondarenko in 2 sets at US Open
Reuters

In a result that should surprise nary a tennis fan, world No. 2 Simona Halep beat qualifier Kateryna Bondarenko in straight sets Thursday, as the Romanian moves on to the third round.

The in-form Halep, on the back of consecutive finals appearances in Toronto followed by the Western & Southern Open, made quick work of the 29-year-old Ukranian, winning 6-3, 6-4 in an hour and 17 minutes.

Despite the straight-sets result, Bondarenko managed to pose more of a threat than was anticipated, breaking Halep's serve once in the opening stanza to frustrate the diminutive Romanian.

A recent string of results shows that Halep has regained her form following a season of disappointing Grand Slam results, as she failed to advance past the quarterfinals in any of the previous three.

Known for being deceitfully fast and for an equally versatile and varied approach, Halep's mental fortitude has long been a strong and often overlooked element of her game.

When Bondarenko applied the pressure midway through the second set, Halep buckled-down, winning 12 of 13 first-serve points at a 92 percent clip and limiting unforced errors to five, compared to 13 from the Ukranian.

Halep will now move on to the third round of a women's draw seemingly void of competition for title holder Serena Williams, where she'll face American qualifier Shelby Rogers.

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World No. 2 Simona Halep beats Kateryna Bondarenko in 2 sets at US Open
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