I said in my preview for the tournament that Simona Halep is a player who you will find out if she has a genuine chance of winning in Melbourne as the tournament progresses.
On paper the American Jennifer Brady would cause some issues having seen off Ash Barty and Maria Sharapova in Brisbane and she certainly did that.
Brady got ahead with an immediate break of serve and did a very credible job hanging onto that lead she had.
At the same time despite going down an early break I thought Simona Halep played absolutely fantastic throughout the match.
It was a strong and gritty performance from the former finalist. Halep sometimes does take a time to get involved in tournaments but this performance was probably the best from the opening round.
We saw the standard Halep stance behind the baseline and she built her game behind her strong serve which was very good. She rarely missed and hit her spots well with her stats for the match looking like this:
1st serve in – 78%
1st serve won – 68%
2nd serve won – 54%
Winners – 20
Unforced errors – 23
Break points won – 5/8
Net points won – 6/6
In particularly the forehand stood strong peppering the backhand corner of the American with a strong 8 winners on that side but equal measure on the backhand down the line which we know she can just pull off out of a nothing situation.
This start could not have been better, I thought she played such a clean game and when they come to analyse it which they probably will tomorrow I can’t see too much to pick out from the match which was a concern.