Simona Halep secures long-awaited win over Maria Sharapova

Oct 08, 2017, 00:55
Simona Halep secures long-awaited win over Maria Sharapova

Halep, now ranked No 2, defeated the unseeded Daria Kasatkina 6-2 6-1 to close in on the top spot held by Garbine Muguruza.

Simona Halep is the first Romanian to achieve the world No. 1 ranking since the system was implemented in 1975.

Halep also got some measure of revenge when she thrashed Kasatkina yesterday, having lost to the Russian at the Wuhan Open last week.

She will officially end the four-week stand of Spain's Garbine Muguruza at the top of the table on Monday, with just a few weeks left in the regular WTA season.

Romanian Halep, 26, beat her French Open conquerer 6-2 6-2 in Beijing.

"I think she played an incredible match, probably the best she's played against me in all of our previous meetings", said Sharapova, who won the China Open in 2014. "I'm already happy. I love these big matches anyway, so I will do my best tomorrow".

That said, with 9 of the Top 10 players entered (only Venus didn't make the trip), Simona Halep was the only Top 8 player to make the semifinals. "It's my first victory against her and I just want to enjoy the moment".

That raised memories of the Latvian's remarkable triumph at Roland Garros, which saw her come from a set and 3-0 down to defeat Halep.

Her serve was superior throughout - she won 75% of points on her first serve as she was broken just once. Still, she played really well those games, those next games [after falling 3-2 down]. Halep will be making her fourth straight appearance in the Republic.

The last Premier Mandatory event of the season has turned into a place of retribution Halep who cast out some of her recent demons.

The unseeded Garcia defeated Czech 12th seed Petra Kvitova, the two-time Wimbledon champion, 6-3, 7-5.

Third-seeded Elina Svitolina of the Ukraine posted a 6-4, 6-2 win over Australian Ashleigh Barty in their second-round match.