She played in the quarterfinals here past year.
Williams could come up against her sister, Serena, in round three after seeing off the Russian 6-3 5-7 6-3. In 50 years of "Open Tennis" the No. 1 seeded woman has only lost in the opening round five other times.More news: Gov. Snyder lowers flags in honor of US Sen. John McCain
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Halep recovered and it appeared a comeback was on when she broke Kanepi to love to level the second set at 4-4. Kanepi has shown the occasional ability to grab significant results, including a run to the quarterfinals at Flushing Meadows a year ago.
"She has been playing really well in USA lately, so I thought I just have to be aggressive and try to stay calm", said Kanepi.
Frustration for Halep boiled over in the second game of the second set when she smashed her racket on the court, earning a racket abuse warning from the chair umpire.
Eventually, Halep got going a bit, taking advantage of Kanepi's mistakes to break back twice and get to 4-all in that set, getting a lot of support from fans who repeatedly chanted her first name.
"Everybody can beat everybody on a good day, so that's what I also thought, I know Simona is number one, she plays constantly really well, but I can play really well, too". "Because normally, they cheer for the underdog", Kanepi said with a smile.