The belgian Elise mertens He ratified his good moment by eliminating in the second round of the Mutua Madrid Open the third favorite, the Romanian Simona halep, by 4-6, 7-5 and 7-5.
Mertens had already beaten Halep in the 2019 Doha final but on the land of the Magic Box the favoritism of the Romanian, winner of two titles in four finals, seemed evident.
However, the Belgian played a high intensity game, with a good choice of shots at all times. Halep simply he could not stand the rhythm imposed by his rival, in a crazy duel in which up to 15 service breaks were experienced.
Although the Romanian won the first round, in the second she suffered several bumps that limited her aspirations. Especially when gave up the second game after leading 40-0 and when he lost his service again with 3-4 in his favor.
The Romanian he enjoyed a 1-3 in his favor in the third set but he was not able to consolidate his advantage. At 6-5 for Mertens, his last hope was to maintain service and force a tiebreaker, but he wasn’t able to.
For Halep this year’s is his worst performance in Madrid since 2015, when he fell in the first round.
The Belgian was finalist in Istanbul before traveling to the Magic Box, where is the thirteenth seed. Play in the quarters against the Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka, which was imposed on the American Jessica pegula by 6-1 and 6-2.