May 25, 2020

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Simona Halep debuts in Adelaide

ADELAIDE, Australia – Simona Halep didn’t play the first week of the 2020 season.

But now that she’s in Adelaide – coach Darren Cahill’s hometown – she’s maximizing as she prepares for the Australian Open.

The world No. 3 took part in an exhibition doubles event along with Angelique Kerber and the world No. 1 doubles team, Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah on Sunday.

The match, which was part of the official opening ceremonies of the revamped Adelaide venue, also raised money for bushfire relief.

Haleo is playing doubles this week with countrywomen Raluca Olaru. They will play their first match on Monday.

As the No. 2 seed, she and No. 1 Ashleigh Barty have first-round byes in the new Adelaide event, which essentially is the Sydney tournament, relocated and includes an ATP 250-level tournament as well.

She will have a tough opener; Halep will play the winner between Ajla Tomljanovic and Yulia Putintseva.

Logging time on the stadium court

Earlier in the day, Sunday Halep was practicing on the stadium court, which has a new $10 million cover.

The exhibition featured the usual exho hijinks, as Halep teamed up with Cabal and Kerber with Farah.

The big reveal was when Halep disclosed that her boyfriend, who was courtside, got a speeding ticket that day.

The crowd also saw (gasp) both Halep and Kerber serve-and-volley, at Rasheed’s urging.

Here are a few more photos of the exhibition.

The pink Nike dress, which has been around as the “off-season” kit before Nike’s bit Australian Open reveal, looked spectacular on Halep, who benefits from some tailoring of the out-of-the-box Nike outfit.