MOSCOW, October 18 (RIA Novosti)
MOSCOW, October 18 (RIA Novosti) - Romania's Simona Halep fell victim to a surprise result at the Kremlin Cup on Thursday as she struggled with injuries and was swept aside by Serbian qualifier Vesna Dolonc.
Her victory sets up an all-Serbian quarterfinal with the country's top women's player, fourth seed Ana Ivanovic.
Despite 112 ranking places separating the players, Dolonc demolished the 48th-ranked Halep 6-1, 6-0, breaking Halep's serve at every opportunity.
Dolonc told R-Sport she and her coach had identified net play as Halep's main weakness and exploited it to the full.
"I had the right tactics, which I worked out with my coach, to constantly attack Halep," she said.
Dolonc is half-Russian and said her quarterfinal with Ivanovic would be a dream come true.
"When I came as a child to the Kremlin Cup as a spectators, when I was really small, six or seven years old, I imagined that some time I'll be playing tennis on the center court at the Kremlin Cup," she said.
"One of the dreams of a little girl has come true."
Halep blamed her defeat on injuries.
"I didn't play so good because I'm a little bit injured with my back and also the knees, but that's tennis and she played good," Halep told R-Sport.
Defeat cast a shadow over an otherwise positive year for Halep, she said.
"I improved a lot in my game and I am happy for it, but now I am a little bit sad after this match."
Halep's injury problems were clear during the match, Dolonc said.
"I saw it because she had several problems with the serve, which are possibly linked to the back," she said, adding that slower footwork meant Halep made more unforced errors.
Dolonc had yet to win a match at a WTA tour event this year before the Kremlin Cup, where she came through three rounds of qualifying before knocking out Kazakhstani world No. 80 Galina Voskoboeva in the first round.
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