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Romania’s Simona Halep celebrated her 29th birthday with a first-round win at the Roland Garros, but there couldn’t be much celebrations because of the Covid-19 protocols.

After winning her match, the top-seed joked that she will celebrate the victory with a bottle of water.

“The perfect present was that I won today,” said Simona Halep, who won her first Grand Slam at the 2018 French Open, in an on-court interview.

“It was really a special day playing at Roland Garros on my birthday. So it’s going to be pretty unique maybe forever. I cannot celebrate much, because I have to stay in the room, so I will have a bottle of water.

“Yeah, just enjoying the time. I will speak with my very close ones and loved ones. Just that. Nothing special. After the tournament, I will [celebrate].”

Speaking about her opponent Halep said that she had to adjust her own game a little.

“At the beginning I just wanted to be aggressive and to hit the balls everywhere,” she said. “But she was so strong on the legs, and she didn’t miss at all.

“Then I just started to open the court better, to go slower, and to work for every ball, which I did very well. And dropshots.

“The fact that I could change the tactic a little bit during the match, it makes me very pleased with the victory.”

In other matches, former world number one Victoria Azarenka complained about the playing conditions at the French Open during her 6-1, 6-2 first-round victory against Danka Kovinic on Sunday.

The US Open runner-up, who lost to Naomi Osaka in the finals, had to walk off the court after play was suspended due to a light drizzle with Belarusian Azarenka leading 2-1.

In other women’s results, home favourite Caroline Garcia notched a 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 upset of No.17 seed Anett Kontaveit of Estonia in the opening round of her home major.

Former French Open runner-up Venus Williams suffered her second successive first-round loss in a Grand Slam as she went down 6-4 6-4 to Slovakia’s Anna Karolina Schmiedlova on Sunday.
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