Halep: It was very tough

‘She is one of my idols’ says Potapova after beating Kerber 6-4, 6-2

Simona Halep heaped praise on second round opponent Kateryna Bondarenko for putting up a good fight during her loss on the US Open on Thursday.

The world number two made the win look easy, firing 20 winners during her straight-sets win on the hard courts of New York City.

"It was very tough," the 23-year-old told wtatennis.com. 

"I didn't know her – it was the first time I've played her. She was very strong. It was two sets, but it was two pretty tough sets. In the second set I was being pushed behind the baseline and it wasn't good for me. I couldn't cover the court like I did during the first set.

"But I tried to stay closer to the baseline in the end and make her run, because I knew that if she's playing close to her body, she's very strong. So I was really trying to just finish the game there."

The victory sees Halep move to 34-5 on hard courts for 2015, her favoured surface.

Later on Thursday, Halep returned to the court to play her first ever mixed double match, where she teamed up with compatriot Horia Tecau. The Romanian duo dominated, winning in straight sets to cap off a great day for the eleven-time WTA winner.

"It was unbelievable…I liked it!" quipped Halep.

"It was a really good experience for me. And it was a nice match because we won. Actually it was very fast, and Horia was playing really well. It's nice to play with someone who covers the court that well. He has so much power."