Tennis: Halep upsets home favourite Badosa to reach Madrid third round

MADRID (AFP) – Simona Halep was in classic type on Saturday (April 30) as she dashed home hopes in Madrid by knocking out world quantity two Paula Badosa within the second round.

The former world primary and two-time Madrid champion received 9 of the final 10 video games to declare simply her third top-10 victory since 2019 and win 6-3, 6-1.

Halep, whose 2021 marketing campaign was hampered by accidents, is down to 21 on the planet however her ruthless recreation towards Badosa was paying homage to the extent she performed through the 64 weeks she spent on the summit of the rankings.

“I feel great. I feel like I played good tennis and I’m really happy about it. She’s very good at this moment, she’s number two in the world, she’s confident, she’s playing great, but I believed that I have my chances, so I gave everything I had,” stated Halep, who subsequent faces American teenager Coco Gauff or Kazakhstan’s Yulia Putintseva for a spot within the quarter-finals.

The 30-year-old Halep employed Serena Williams’ former coach Patrick Mouratoglou earlier this month and the partnership appears to have gotten off to a promising begin.

“It’s a pleasure and an honour to have Patrick in my box as a coach. We are working very hard on some things and as I see I played well every match. I’m just focused on getting better and getting stronger,” added the two-time Grand Slam champion.

Halep opened proceedings with a break of serve and skipped to a 2-0 lead.

Fired up by the home crowd, Badosa, who’s Catalan however lives in Madrid, pegged again the Romanian, taking the following three video games. Still Halep pounced as soon as once more to scoop the primary set.

Badosa seeks remedy

After dropping seven consecutive video games, trailing Halep 0-3 within the second, Badosa known as the coach to obtain remedy on her proper shoulder.

Halep made it 9 video games in a row and held two match factors on Badosa’s serve however the Spaniard held on to maintain for 1-5. It solely delayed the inevitable as Halep closed out the match shortly after, ending with a formidable ratio of 21 winners to 14 unforced errors.

Earlier within the day, former world primary Victoria Azarenka rallied again from a one-set deficit to overcome final yr’s Roland Garros semi-finalist Tamara Zidansek 3-6, 6-1, 6-3 in two hours and 20 minutes.

“I think I started to be more aggressive, I felt like the more I played, the better I started to play,” stated Azarenka, who faces American Amanda Anisimova subsequent.

“I don’t have a lot of matches under my belt so far, so I think it takes me a little bit of time to get into the matches but I still feel like I played a lot better than my first match and was able to find my way out of that, find a better game plan, execute that and fight hard.”

The 20-year-old Anisimova, a former Roland Garros semi-finalist, got here by way of a tricky three-setter towards Croatian veteran Petra Martic 3-6, 6-3, 6-2.

The Thirty third-ranked Anisimova had by no means received a match in Madrid prior to this week, however adopted up her opening round upset of defending champion Aryna Sabalenka with one other battling efficiency to reach the final 16.

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