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Halep stays hot in Madrid with straight-set victory over Gauff

Simona Halep cruises past Coco Gauff in straight sets as third-round action at the Mutua Madrid Open begins on Monday. Next up for Halep is Ons Jabeur, who survived a three-setter against Belinda Bencic.

Simona Halep of Romania during practice ahead of the 2022 Mutua Madrid Open WTA 1000 tennis tournament Simona Halep of Romania during practice ahead of the 2022 Mutua Madrid Open WTA 1000 tennis tournament Image Credit: Zuma / Panoramic

Mutua Madrid Open | Draw Order of play

Simona Halep is unseeded in Madrid, but a tough draw is proving to be no trouble for her so far.

After erasing No. 2 seed Paula Badosa 6-3, 6-1 in the second round, Halep hurried past Coco Gauff 6-4, 6-4 on Monday afternoon to book her spot in the quarter-finals. The 30-year-old Romanian served at 73 percent, won 82 percent of her first-serve points, and faced only one break point while advancing in one hour and 18 minutes.

Halep seized the lone break of set one at a crucial time, with Gauff toeing the line at 4-4. The world No. 21 promptly served it out one game later. Halep fell into a quick 4-1 hole in set two, but success was short-lived for Gauff. The 18-year-old American was broken at 4-2 after leading 40-0 in that game and after that disaster there was no recovery for her. Halep also struck for a break at 4-4 and then finished off the proceedings with a routine hold in the 10th game.

Jabeur next for Halep after beating Bencic

In a rematch of the recent Charleston final, Ons Jabeur got revenge over Belinda Bencic by prevailing 6-2, 3-6, 6-2 on Monday in Madrid. Jabeur needed two hours and 59 minutes to earn her place alongside Halep in the last eight.

Bencic had defeated the Tunisian 6-1, 5-7, 6-4 to capture the Charleston title three weeks ago.

“I came here to take my revenge,” Jabeur commented. “I wish I played like that in the final in Charleston, to be honest. Part of me is very proud of myself for coming today and getting the win. Belinda is such an amazing player and it’s very tough to play against her. I’m very happy with the level I showed today, and hopefully this level will continue for the rest of the tournament.”

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