While You Were Asleep: Halep crashes out, Tsitsipas survives in French Open, Mane to reveal future plans after CL final


Former world number one Simona Halep crashed out of the French Open on Thursday as she failed to deal with the aggressive game of Chinese teenager Zheng Qinwen and suffered a 2-6, 6-2, 6-1 second-round loss.

Halep, who lifted the trophy at Roland Garros in 2018 before winning Wimbledon the following year, came into the match on Court Simonne Mathieu having won her only prior meeting against the 19-year-old Zheng in straight sets in Melbourne in January.

The 30-year-old Romanian got off to a flying start by dominating play from the baseline, breezing through the opening set and going up a break before Zheng, ranked 74th in the world, took control.

Winners started flowing from the Chinese player’s racket as the unforced error count soared for Halep and Zheng did not look back.

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Zheng, who hit 28 winners to her opponent’s nine, won eight games in a row to go up 3-0 in the deciding set and Halep won just one more game.

Tsitsipas survives tough Kolar test to move into third round

Stefanos Tsitsipas was again made to work hard for victory, the Greek fourth seed overcoming Czech qualifier Zdenek Kolar 6-3 7-6(8) 6-7(3) 7-6(7) in a marathon match on Thursday to move into the French Open third round.

Two days after the 23-year-old Tsitsipas came from two sets down to beat Italian Lorenzo Musetti at the claycourt Grand Slam, there was another nail-biter for the 2021 finalist.

The match appeared headed for a deciding set when Tsitsipas found himself down four set points in the tiebreaker but the Greek found a way to save them all before converting his second match point after four hours and six minutes.

Tsitsipas slammed his racket down in frustration after forcing an error from Kolar as the crowd erupted in appreciation.

Liverpool’s Mane to give ‘special’ answer after CL final

Liverpool forward Sadio Mane will reveal his future plans only after Saturday’s Champions League final against Real Madrid, the Senegal international said on Thursday.

Mane, who joined Liverpool in 2016 and has scored more than 120 goals for the Premier League club, was considering leaving Juergen Klopp’s side in search of a new challenge, British media reported.

“This question (about my future) I will answer after Champions League (final), if I’m staying or not,” Mane, who has one year remaining on his Liverpool contract, told Sky Sports.

“What I want to say now is I am fully focused on the Champions League and winning it, which is far more important for me and the Liverpool fans.

“That is the answer I must give before the final. But come back to me on Saturday and I will give you the best answer you want to hear, for sure. It’s special. I will give you all you want to hear then.”

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