After seven straight failed bids, Simona Halep finally got her first career win over Maria Sharapova and she did it in fine style with a 6-2, 6-2 victory over the Russian.
“It was a great match, I think I played my best tennis against her,” Halep said after the 72-minute win. “I served pretty well, and the work that I did after the US Open, I could see it on court today.
“Today, it was just different because I never beat her, so it makes the moment a little bit special. I felt like I played like that before, and I still can play like that. I just want to be happy about what I did today, and tomorrow I can think about the next one.”
Sharapova was broken twice in each set. It was her sixth event of her comeback, though she hasn’t made the SFs since her first tournament in Stuttgart.
“I think she played an incredible match, probably the best she’s played against me in all of our previous meetings,” Sharapova said. “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.
“She was hitting the ball consistently, not making a lot of unforced errors, her service percentage was quite high. She did all the right things. She hit quite deep consistently. When I found myself far from the baseline, I didn’t do a good job of coming back in the court. Credit to her, she kept me back there with her consistency.”
On Friday, Halep will take on Daria Kasatkina who ousted defending champion Agnieszka Radwanska 4-6, 7-5, 6-2.
Elina Svitolina, Caroline Garcia and French Open champ Jelena Ostapenko were also winners.
In the marquee third round match on Thursday, former No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki meets Petra Kvitova. The Czech has won six of 11 encounters including the last two. Karolina Pliskova opens play on Center Court against Sorana Cirstea.
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