Simona Halep reached the quarter-finals of the Mutua Madrid Open on Monday with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Coco Gauff in their third-round match. The Romanian needed an hour and 17 minutes to wrap up the win over the 14th-seeded American.
Halep lost her serve only once in the match, in the second set where she trailed Gauff 1-4. But from there on, she rebounded to win five games in a row to maintain her dominance over Gauff against whom she now holds a 3-0 win-to-loss record.
Following her win, talking about the match, the former world no. 1 said, “I think I played very well in the first set. When I stayed super focused at four-all, that was really important... that was the difference. The second set, she changed the tactics and she was super, super aggressive.
It was really tough to return the balls, but then I just calmed down and I found the rhythm. I adjusted myself to her game, and in the end, it was super good that I could actually push her back a little bit”.
Mutua Madrid Open: Ons Jabeur's the only seed left in the 2nd half of the draw
This is Halep’s first quarter-final in Madrid since 2019 when she reached the final.
For a place in the semi-finals, the two-time former title-holder will take on eighth seed Ons Jabeur. The Tunisian defeated 11th seed Belinda Bencic 6-2, 3-6, 6-2 in an hour and 58 minutes. Amanda Anisimova upset 15th seed Victoria Azarenka in their third-round clash.
The American won 6-1, 6-4 in an hour and 21 minutes. For a place in the Mutua Madrid Open semi-finals, Anisimova will play Ekaterina Alexandrova. Alexandrova weathered a three-hour-four-minute encounter against fellow qualifier, Marie Bouzkova to prevail 7-6(4), 0-6, 7-5. Alexandrova hit 44 winners and had 80 unforced errors in the match. Photo Credit: Mutua Madrid Open Twitter