Halep topples Badosa to return to Madrid third round

Simona Halep brought back some of her Madrid magic on Saturday evening, once again advancing to the Mutua Madrid Open Round of 16 with a 6-3, 6-1 victory over No.2 seed and Spanish hope Paula Badosa.

Former World No.1 Halep, who won the Madrid title back-to-back in 2016 and 2017 and has reached the final two additional times, emerged victorious in her first meeting with surging Badosa after 1 hour and 16 minutes of play.

Halep awaits the winner of the nightcap match between No.14 seed Coco Gauff and Yulia Putintseva. Halep holds 2-0 win-loss records against both of those players.

Stellar Simona: With her latest victory in the Spanish capital, Halep moves into the Mutua Madrid Open Round of 16 for the seventh time out of her 11 main-draw appearances at the event.

Halep is up to 29 main-draw match-wins at the Mutua Madrid Open throughout her career. The only tournaments at which Halep has accumulated more match-wins in her career are the Australian Open and Roland Garros, with 31 match-wins apiece at each of those events.

Only three-time champion Petra Kvitova has won more main-draw matches than Halep in the history of this tournament. Kvitova has won 32 matches at the Mutua Madrid Open.

By the numbers: Halep has discussed her enhanced aggressive play under new coach Patrick Mouratoglou, and she showed it against Badosa. Halep, currently ranked World No.21 and unseeded in Madrid for the first time since 2013, had 21 winners to 14 unforced errors during the clash.

One year ago, Badosa broke through on home soil with a run to the Madrid semifinals as a 62nd-ranked wildcard, and has quickly risen to the top of the game since then, hitting a new career-high ranking of World No.2 on Monday. However, Badosa was just 1-for-7 on break points against Halep on Saturday.

More to come…

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