Saturday, July 31, 2021

Simona Halep knocked out by Elise Mertens in Madrid Open

In Madrid Open tennis, Russia’s Andrey Rublev overcame a tough challenge on his Madrid Open debut to beat the Tommy Paul of the US 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-4 for a place in the third round on Tuesday.

Another Russian Aslan Karatsev opened his debut Mutua Madrid Open campaign by hitting 24 winners on his way to a 7-5, 6-4 victory against Ugo Humbert.

British number one Daniel Evans beat Jeremy Chardy in a marathon 7-6 (6), 6-7 (7), 6-2 match, which lasted two hours and 46 minutes.

Lloyd Harris continued his excellent form against Top-20 ranked opponents with a tense, 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (5) win over Bulgaria’s No. 13 seed Grigor Dimitrov.

Meanwhile, big-serving John Isner hit 28 aces on his way to a 6-4, 7-6 (6) win over Serbia’s Miomir Kecmanovic.

In the women’s division, former doubles partners Elise Mertens and Aryna Sabalenka took contrasting paths to a showdown in the quarter-finals yesterday.

The No. 13 seed Mertens came from a break down in both the second and third sets to upset No. 3 seed Simona Halep 4-6, 7-5, 7-5 in two hours and 34 minutes, while Sabalenka needed only 52 minutes to power past Jessica Pegula 6-1, 6-2. Mertens, who entered the quarter-finals here for the first time, will face another
Madrid last-eight debutante, No. 5 seed Sabalenka. Sabalenka was imperious against Pegula, striking 25 winners to 13 unforced errors.

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