Halep becomes Grand Slam champion for the first time

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Simona Halep, the newest member of the Grand Slam champions’ club, silenced a roaring Japanese army of supporters as she demolished Kurumi Nara 6-2, 6-4 to reach the second round of Wimbledon on Tuesday.

Playing with a lighter load on her shoulders after winning the French Open title last month, Halep rolled back her arms and let the winners fly off her racket strings.

The Romanian world number one was broken once in the opening set and also faced two break points at 2-1 up in the second.

A forehand winner and a Nara error allowed Halep to sidestep that pothole and she wrapped up victory when Nara smacked a forehand long.

She will next face China’s Zheng Saisai for a place in the third round.

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