Simona Halep

Shenzhen (China), Jan 4 (IANS) Romanian tennis star Simona Halep conceded a shock defeat to the Czech Republic’s Katerina Siniakova 3-6, 6-4, 5-7 in the second round of the WTA Shenzhen Open here on Wednesday.

The deciding set became a tit-for-tat battle as they broke each other during the first five games, and the Czech took the upper hand at 4-2 by holding her own for the first time in the sixth game. Then the second seed also held her game for 4-3 and broke again for 4-all, reports Xinhua.

After both kept their games to 5-all, the 20-year-old Siniakova broke world No.4 Halep again in the 11th game and took a commanding 6-5 lead.

Although the Romanian survived the first match-point, the 52nd-ranked Siniakova grabbed her second chance and sealed the match in 124 minutes when Halep returned into the net.

“I think she played really well. She is a strong player, I never played before against her. I think she has good shots, very powerful, so she deserves to win today,” said the Romanian.

Halep, the winner here in 2015, started off slowly as she fell behind 0-4 in the first set and quickly lost it.

“I was struggling, I didn’t feel very good to my game. There is no excuse about that, she managed to be stronger on court and that’s why she could win,” Halep told the post-match press briefing.

The 2015 former champion gradually bounced back and won the second set when she held her game to 5-4 before Siniakova failed in her effort and conceded it 6-4 with an unforced error on return.