‘She played perfect’ – Simona Halep hailed by Paula Badosa for Madrid Open form
Paula Badosa believes Simona Halep played flawlessly to beat her at the Madrid Open to end her run in just the second round of the event.
After world number one Iga Swiatek withdrew ahead of the WTA 1000 event, Badosa was left as the highest remaining seed.
However, despite comfortably seeing off her first round opponent in straight sets, the Spaniard was then soundly beaten 6-3, 6-1 by two-time Madrid Open champion and former world number one Halep.
She said after the loss: “[It was] my first time playing against Simona, I think she played a very high level.
“She was getting all the balls, she was aggressive, she was fast.
“I don’t know what she said, but I think she played perfect.”
Incredibly, despite being a former Roland Garros champion, this victory was Halep’s best ever on clay in terms of ranking.
A masterclass in Madrid 👩🎨
🇷🇴 @Simona_Halep flies past the No.2 seed Badosa winning 9 of the last 10 games!#MMOPEN pic.twitter.com/6ju92gVO1X
— wta (@WTA) April 30, 2022
The Madrid Open is Halep’s first event since teaming up with Patrick Mouratoglou.
After winning her first match alongside the Frenchman, the Romanian world number 21 admitted feeling rejuvenated by the partnership.
2 – Simona #Halep has won a match on clay courts against the highest ranked player in her career (Paula #Badosa in #Madrid, #2). Striking.#MadridOpen @WTA_insider pic.twitter.com/KnBN9RDepi
— OptaAce (@OptaAce) April 30, 2022
After downing Badosa, Halep will now face American 14th seed Coco Gauff after the 18-year-old progressed past Yulia Putintseva late Saturday night.
The pair have met twice before, with Halep winning on both occasions.
The first of their encounters came at Wimbledon 2019 when a 15-year-old Gauff took the event by storm to reach the fourth round before falling to eventual champion Halep.
This third meeting on the clay of the Spanish capital will be their third on a different surface as the first two came on grass and hard respectively.
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