Halep rampant in Madrid

Simona Halep thrashed Karin Knapp 6-1, 6-1 to reach the third round of the Madrid Open on Tuesday.

Halep got off to a sluggish start against Knapp, dropping serve in the opening game. Over the opening three days of the competition, 10 of the 16 seeds have been knocked out and it briefly looked like the 2014 French Open finalist might be next.

However, the Romanian quickly regrouped and then set about moving her opponent from corner to corner for the next hour in a merciless display of precision baseline hitting.

Knapp, who’s obvious lack of mobility and agility might be explained by her recent knee and ankle problems, posed no problems to Halep after the first game of the match.

“We shouldn’t forget that she was injured, she had knee surgery, so she’s coming back and it wasn’t her best day,” Halep said afterwards.

“But still I played some good tennis and I tried to just stick to my game.

Halep will play Timea Bacsinszky next after the latter beat Ekaterina Makarova 6-4, 5-7, 6-4. While Halep holds the head-to-head advantage, Bacsinszky was the winner when the pair last met in Miami earlier this year.

“Bacsinszky is revenge!” Halep laughed.

“It’s going to be hard, it’s going to be difficult, a tough match for sure.

“I just want to go on court relaxed and play my game. It’s a good tournament, good people around me, so I am in a good place mentally and physically.”

Elsewhere in Madrid, Lucie Safarova withdrew from her match with Samantha Stosur, Carla Suarez Navarro beat Sabine Lisicki 6-3, 6-2 and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova advanced at the expense of Camila Giorgi, who withdrew.

Meanwhile, Timea Bacsinszky downed Ekaterina Makarova 6-4, 5-7, 6-4, Dominika Cibulkova overcame Caroline Garcia 0-6, 6-3, 6-4, Laura Siegemund beat Mirjana Lucic-Baroni 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 and Sorana Cirstea defeated Danka Kovinic 6-3, 7-5.

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