Simona Halep was trying on her new shoes when she got the news direct from the draw about her tough section containing both Serena and Venus Williams at the Australian Open. Even before she contemplates possible back-to-back matches in the third and fourth round against Venus and Serena, top-ranked Halep has to get through an opening match against Kaia Kanepi, who beat her in the first round at the U.S. Open last year.
Darren Cahill, a TV commentator and Halep’s coach until recently, texted her with details of the draw. “When I saw the message, I was like, ‘Ok, whatever,'” she said. “I just enjoy the moment with the shoes, then I’ll think about the match. That’s it.”