Simona Halep, the former world No. 1, improved her French Open preparations with a 6-4 6-4 victory against American Coco Gauff in the Madrid Open quarter-finals. Halep, who won the French Open in 2018 and the Madrid championship twice, is unseeded after her ranking dropped last year due to injuries, but she has yet to drop a set in this year’s tournament.
“It was not easy to adjust”- Simona Halep
On Monday, the Romanian was at her most aggressive on the red clay, but she couldn’t break until the American teenager made a sequence of unforced errors, leaving her down 5-4. Simona Halep, who is now ranked 21st in the world, served out the set, but it just fueled Gauff’s confidence as the 18-year-old grew more confident. In the second set, she raced to a 3-0 lead after finding success at the net. As Gauff’s error count continued to rise, the Romanian counter-puncher soon regrouped and fought back, breaking twice to go up 5-4 before sealing off the match in 77 minutes.
“I felt like I played the exactly what I had to play. In the second set she changed a little bit,” Halep said in a post-match interview.
“She’s been more aggressive and it was not easy to adjust, but in the end, I pushed her back and I did what I wanted to do… We played a few times so I knew what to expect,” she added.
Simona Halep will square off against Ons Jabeur
Halep will face Tunisian eighth seed Ons Jabeur, who defeated Belinda Bencic 6-2 3-6 6-2 in a previous match played under the dome due to rain. “Just a reminder guys, Simona won against Paula Badosa (in the previous round) and she’s Spanish. So if she wins you have to cheer for me,” Jabeur said.
Hailing from the City of Joy, Pritha is a tennis writer at FirstSportz. Being an avid fanatic of Steffi Graf and Rafael Nadal, she is currently looking forward to learning more and thriving further in the field. Besides tennis, she fancies football and NBA and is a die-hard Liverpool fan. Currently, she is pursuing her Bachelor's in Botany from the University of Calcutta.
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