NEW YORK (AP) Simona Halep is feeling more comfortable as the No. 2 seed at the U.S. Open.
A year ago, she arrived at Flushing Meadows seeded second at a major for the first time. She was pushed to three sets in her opening match then upset in the third round by a qualifier.
No such problems so far this time. Halep has dropped just nine games through two rounds. She beat qualifier Kateryna Bondarenko 6-3, 6-4 on Thursday.
Recalling what happened when she reached No. 2 in the world for the first time, Halep said in an on-court interview: “I lost my mind a little bit.”
“I couldn’t be focused for what I have to do,” she added. “With experience now I’m much better. I feel I have much more confidence in myself. I’m stronger mentally – and physically.”