Ukraine’s Snigur stuns former number one Halep in the first round

NEW YORK — Ukraine qualifier Daria Snigur put on the performance of her career to upset two-time Grand Slam champion Simona Halep 6-2, 0-6, 6-4 in the first round of the US Open on Monday.

Snigur, 20, showed attitude beyond her years to break Halep in the opening game and again in game three as she capitalized on a growing number of unforced errors from the Romanian.

However, Snigur’s form completely collapsed in the second set as Halep stormed through six games in 24 minutes to roar from the crowd at Lois Armstrong Stadium.

But Halep, who won the Canadian Open title for a third time earlier this month before retiring from Cincinnati with an injury, couldn’t maintain that momentum as she dropped serve in the first and fifth games.

The 30-year-old broke Snigur in game eight to stay alive and saved two match points in the next game.

But Snigur kept her nerve to seal the win before breaking down in tears. She then used her hands to form a heart shape around the Ukrainian ribbon attached to her shirt.

“I’m very, very, very nervous, but I tried to do my best,” she said, her voice shaking, in an interview in court. “For Ukraine, for my family…I want to thank you all.”