World number one Simona Halep will head to Melbourne without a coach and without a win.
The Romanian is still in contact with coach Darren Cahill and met up for dinner in Sydney the other day and I fully expect him to be on site at Melbourne Park during the tournament in some capacity.
Halep cut her 2018 season short with an ankle injury missing the finals in Singapore and in her first match back for three months fell short to world number 15 and Australia’s number one Ashleigh Barty.
Ash has been one of the most improved players on the tour over the last year or so and her presence and power behind the groundstrokes have made her a dangerous player to play against and Simona had to battle that today.
The winners kept coming from the Australian who went after that Halep serve which didn’t really get going winning just 57% of points behind her fist service but also only winning 28/70 points on Barty’s serve and failing to convert 9 break points.