Simona Halep secures long-awaited win over Maria Sharapova

04 October 2017 09:24

Simona Halep claimed her first win in eight meetings with Maria Sharapova at the China Open to avenge her US Open loss.

A blockbuster first-round clash in New York went the way of Sharapova but Halep produced a brilliant performance in Beijing to win 6-2 6-2.

Halep's all-round game was simply far too good for Sharapova, who made 20 unforced errors in the opening set alone.

In New York the Russian was able to dominate Halep's serve but this time the Romanian was broken just once, in her opening game.

She broke Sharapova five times in return and made just six unforced errors in clinching a place in the quarter-finals.

Halep said on "It was a great match, I think I played my best tennis against her. I served pretty well, and the work that I did after the US Open, I could see it on court today.

"I'm really happy that I could do this. It's my first victory against her and I just want to enjoy the moment."

Two victories this week will see Sharapova climb back into the top 100 for the first time since her doping ban, and she gave full credit to Halep.

The 30-year-old said: "I think she played an incredible match, probably the best she's played against me in all of our previous meetings. I wasn't as sharp. I wasn't seeing the ball as well. I wasn't moving up and down as well as I have been against her."

French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko beat Sam Stosur 6-3 7-5 in the second round and qualified for her maiden appearance at the WTA Finals later this month.

She could yet be joined by Wuhan Open champion Caroline Garcia, who boosted her chances with a 7-6 (7/4) 6-4 victory over Elise Mertens.

Third seed Elina Svitolina defeated in-form Australian Ashleigh Barty 6-4 6-2.

Halep will face Russia's Daria Kasatkina, who upset defending champion Agnieszka Radwanska 4-6 7-5 6-2.

Source: PA