Simona Halep fought back from a break down in the second to defeat Coco Gauff for a third straight time in a 6-4, 6-4 win in the third round at the Madrid Masters.
Halep came in 2-0 against Gauff and early on the 2-time Madrid champion was in control.
Gauff, though, would get up 4-1 with all systems firing in the second and had the tables turned, or so it seem. The teen’s serve, however, fell apart. A bad double sent the American’s game spiraling. Halep took advantage winning the last five games (winning 9 of 10 points at one stretch) to reach the quarterfinals.
“I think I played very well in the first set. When I stayed super focused at 4-All, that was really important,” Halep said.
“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.”
Halep will get a day off before meeting Ons Jabeur in a Wednesday quarterfinal. The Tunisian knocked out gold medalist Belinda Bencic 6-2, 3-6, 6-2, gaining revenge on a final loss in Charleston to the Swiss.
“She’s different,” Halep said of Jabeur. “She’s a great person, first of all, because we get so well together. It’s always nice to talk to her. But every time on court is a big fight, big battle. I’m expecting a big one next round.
“But I’m here just to give my best, as I said every day. I feel good on court, I feel my game. I’m just looking forward to play it and to fight for it.”
Amanda Anismova kept her upset run going holding on to beat former No. 1 Victoria Azarenka 6-1, 6-4. The American led 5-1 in the second before Azarenka made a push.
“I think it was a really tough match, but I was playing well throughout all of it,” Anisimova said.
“It feels a lot better winning a match with those challenges in the end, as opposed to if it was an easy match. Getting through that and not letting her come all the way back, it just helps me with my confidence.”
Anisimova will meet Ekatarina Alexandrova in the quarters. The Russian edged Marie Bouzkova 6-7(4), 6-0, 7-5/
Tomorrow, the last four third round matches take place highlighted by Bianca Andreescu battling Jessica Pegula and Emma Raducanu looks to move on against Anhelina Kalinina.
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