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HALEP OVERCOMES NEMESIS MUGURUZA

2015-4-23


STUTTGART, Germany - Simona Halep overcame nemesis Garbi馿 Muguruza in three tough sets on Wednesday night to become the first player into the quarterfinals of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix.

Watch highlights, interviews and more video from Stuttgart right here on wtatennis.com!

Muguruza had beaten Halep in their two previous meetings, at Wuhan last fall and in Fed Cup play earlier this year, and it looked like the pattern was going to continue as the WTA Rising Star took the first set of this one in just 34 minutes, 6-3, coming through on the big points much better than Halep - the Spaniard converted on both of her break points in that first set, Halep going zero for two.

The No.2-seeded Halep went right to work from there, though, rolling through the second set, 6-1, and battling back from 2-0 down in the third - even facing points for 3-0 - to win the match, 3-6, 6-1, 6-3.

Halep was just too solid across the second and third sets, compiling a +3 differential of winners to unforced errors (12 to 9) while Muguruza's game went awry - she had a -13 differential (18 to 31).

The Romanian also became the first player to reach 25 WTA-level match wins on the season.

The last four first round matches of the week took place earlier in the day and the only seeded player in action was bounced. Agnieszka Radwanska, the No.7 seed, looked strong early on - she jumped out to a 5-3 first set lead and even held two set points in the ensuing tie-break - but Sara Errani was too determined, sneaking out that set and eventually beating the World No.9 in straights, 7-6(8), 6-4.

Other winners were Angelique Kerber, who beat American lucky loser Alexa Glatch, 6-2, 7-5, WTA Rising Star Zarina Diyas, who fought off all 12 game points she faced to shut out Sabine Lisicki, 6-0, 6-0, and last but not least another WTA Rising Star, Belinda Bencic, who faced triple match point serving at 4-5, 0-40 in the third set but ended up edging German wildcard Julia Goerges, 3-6, 6-3, 7-5.

"I don't know how I did that," Bencic said after the match. "It was a very difficult situation in my mind when it was 4-5, 0-40. I was just trying to stay in it, and then it was 30-40, and I was still very nervous then. I'm just very happy that I could keep fighting and come back and win the match today."

Kerber, who already has a clay court title under her belt this year - the Premier-level Family Circle Cup title - will be Maria Sharapova's first opponent of the week. Sharapova leads Kerber in their head-to-head series, 4-2, though Kerber did prevail in their last encounter at Wimbledon last summer.



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