Thursday May 06, 2021
Halep, Osaka through in Madrid Open
Published : 01 May 2021, 14:59
No. 2 seed Naomi Osaka and No. 3 seed Simona Halep both progressed into the second round of the Madrid Open with relative ease on Friday, reported Xinhua.
Reigning U.S. and Australian Open champion Osaka was playing her first game on beaten clay for almost two years, but after needing a short time to adapt to the slow pace of the surface, she beat fellow countrywoman Misaka Doi 7-5, 6-2.
Halep, who won in Madrid in 2016, 2017 and was a beaten finalist in 2019, got off to a flying start to Spaniard Sara Sorribes Torbo, taking the first set 6-0 and racing into a 5-1 lead in the second.
Sorribes Torbo, an experienced clay player, then dug deep to bring the second set back to 7-5 before Halep recovered to win the next to games and the match.
No. 5 seed Aryna Sabalenka also progressed into the second round after beating qualifier Vera Zvonareva 6-1, 6-2 in 66 minutes using her power to produce 37 winners.
There was bad news for Chinese duo Wang Qiang and Zhang Shuai, who both ended their participation in the singles competition after straight sets defeats.
Wang Qiang lost 6-1, 6-3 to world No. 20 Karolina Muchova, while Zhang went out against Belgian No. 13 seed Elsie Mertens, 6-3, 6-3.