Madrid Open: Simona Halep upsets Paula Badosa to gain Round of 16

Spanish hope Paula Badosa was stunned at the Madrid Open on Saturday, going down to Simona Halep in straight sets in their second round match.

Former World No 1 Simona Halep defeated Paula Badosa 6-3, 6-1 at the Madrid Open on Saturday to book a place in the Round of 16.

A two-time Madrid Open winner, Halep is unseeded at the 2022 event but knocked out the second seed and highest-ranked player competing in the main draw.

The win was Halep's 29th at the Madrid Open just two behind record-holder Petra Kvitova, who exited in the first round this year.

Halep played a bold game during the clash sending down 21 winners to 14 unforced errors.

The Romanian let an early break slip in the first set but after Badosa levelled at 3-3, Halep produced a masterful game to snatch the break back including an incredible cross-court forehand winner to set up the break point.

Halep would win nine straight points on her serve in the second set and won the first five games, before Badosa dug deep to avoid the bagel.

Badosa could only convert one of the seven break points offered up by Halep and stands to lose a swathe of rankings points after she failed to match her run to the 2021 final.

Coco Gauff awaits Simona Halep

Halep will take on 14th seed Coco Gauff in the next round, after the American outlasted Yulia Putintseva in the late match at the Manolo Santana Stadium 6-1, 2-6, 6-4 in Madrid.

Halep holds a 2-0 win-loss record against Gauff.

Gauff held off a comeback from the speedy World No 44 Putintseva in a battle that took nearly two and a half hours to complete under the lights.

Putintseva owns eight top 20 victories in her career to date but Gauff just had enough in the tank to avoid becoming number nine.

Earlier in the day, Belinda Bencic set a third round encounter with eighth seed Ons Jabeur after both women won their Round of 32 contests.

Curiously the pair also met in the third round at the Madrid Open in 2021 and they contested the Charleston final in April.

Bencic had to battle past Karolina Muchova 6-3, 4-6, 7-5 in a epic match that took two hours and 45 minutes to complete.

"It was a very tough match and what I expected. In the first set, I felt I was more under control and I was actually able to play my game. In the second set, I lost a little bit of focus in the start of the set and I tried to get myself going a little bit ... just to have my attention again," Bencic told WTA Insider after the match.

"I think she really got into the game a little bit better, she started serving a little bit better ... and I felt like I wasn't in control so much. In the third set, I didn't know if I was going to win the match or not ... so I was happy to stay in the match and stay strong in the important moments."

Jabeur folllowed Bencic out onto centre court, battling past Varvara Gracheva with a 7-5, 0-6, 6-4 victory.

Also on Saturday, Amanda Anisimova rallied for her second consecutive three-set win in Madrid to oust Petra Martic and set up a third round match against former World No 1 Victoria Azarenka.

Latest news