Dual Grand Slam winner Simona Halep has crashed out of the French Open after suffering a panic attack as the game’s dominant female athlete continued her seemingly inexorable run.

Former champion Simona Halep revealed she suffered a panic attack in her French Open defeat to China’s Zheng Qinwen on Thursday.

The distressed 19th-seeded Romanian slumped in her chair at the end of the first set and required the attention of the doctor.

“It was just a panic attack. I didn’t know how to handle it, because I don’t have it often,” said the 2018 French Open and 2019 Wimbledon winner.

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“I was leading the match. I was playing well. I lost it. I couldn’t focus. “After the match, it was pretty tough. But now I’m good. I’m recovered, and I will learn from this episode. Nothing dangerous. The doctors checked everything. Everything was perfect.” Zheng, just 19 and making her Paris debut, triumphed 2-6, 6-2, 6-1 and will face either 2017 champion Jelena Ostapenko or France’s Alize Cornet for a place in the last 16.


Fourth seed and 2021 runner-up Stefanos Tsitsipas needed another epic performance to reach the French Open third round on Thursday, beating world number 134 and qualifier Zdenek Kolar of the Czech Republic in four sets.

The Greek star saved four set points in the fourth set tie-breaker to beat Kolar 6-3, 7-6 (10/8), 6-7 (3/7), 7-6 (9/7) in a little over four hours.

On Tuesday, Tsitsipas had to come back from two sets down to defeat Lorenzo Musetti in the first round.

Kolar, 25, was playing in his maiden Grand Slam having tried and failed 16 times to qualify.

Tsitsipas will face Sweden’s Mikael Ymer for a place in the last 16. “He drove me crazy,” said Tsitsipas. “It was really frustrating because he got behind every ball.

“Mr Kolar did not make it easy.”


Unstoppable world number one Iga Swiatek racked up her 30th successive victory at the French Open on Thursday sweeping past Alison Riske of the United States 6-0, 6-2 to reach the third round as only three of the top 10 women’s seeds survived the opening two rounds.

Eighth-seeded Karolina Pliskova and Danielle Collins, the ninth seed, joined fellow top 10 players, defending champion Barbora Krejcikova, Maria Sakkari, Ons Jabeur, Anett Kontaveit and former winner Garbine Muguruza in failing to reach the last 32.

Swiatek, the 2020 champion in Paris, is on the best streak since Serena Williams’s 34-match winning run in 2013 and goes on to face Danka Kovinic of Montenegro for a place in the last 16.

Swiatek raced through the first set against 43rd-ranked Riske in just 21 minutes and was 3-0 up in the second before the American avoided a ‘double bagel’.

The Pole still managed to take her record of 6-0 sets in 2022 to a season-leading 15.

“I’m pretty happy to play some solid tennis,” said Swiatek who joins third seed Paula Badosa and

Originally published as French Open: Simona Halep explains panic attack, Tsitsipas scrapes through

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