Stosur sets up Halep clash in Madrid
Sam Stosur has continued her strong run at the Mutua Madrid Open, moving into the third round where she will meet defending champion Simona Halep.
Australia’s Sam Stosur has charged into the third round of the Madrid Open with a comfortable 6-3 7-5 win over Colombian world No.98 Mariana Duque-Marino.
Stosur, unbroken on serve throughout the match only faced two break points, while also converting both of hers to move into the final 16 of the tournament without dropping a set.
There she will face Romanian third seed Simona Halep, who Stosur leads 3-1 when it comes to their career meetings on clay, the last of which was in the fourth round at Roland Garros in 2016, when Stosur won 7-6(0) 6-3.
In their most recent meeting, Halep won in three sets in the fourth round of March’s Miami Open.
They also met in last year’s Madrid semifinals, a match Halep dominated.
Halep made it to the third round of this year’s event in less impressive fashion, coming back from the edge of defeat to beat Italian Roberta Vinci 6-3 2-6 7-6 (7-2).
“Her game is not easy to play. Her slices are very difficult to return,” said Halep, who trailed 5-2 in the final set.
“She was hitting pretty strong also with the forehand today, serve, everything. She played unbelievable.
“I was close to losing the match, but I stayed strong. I stayed focused. I didn’t give up. That makes this match much more like bigger for me. It means a lot.”
Halep said she is looking forward to taking on Stosurfor the second year running in the Spanish capital.
“I know Sam pretty well – we played many times together,” Halep said. “It’s going to be very difficult. Her topspin is not easy to return.”