Simona Halep's run ended by Karolina Pliskova — Madrid Open

Aubrey Yates
May 11, 2018

Both players served at 70% but it was Karolina who drew the most from it, dropping 10 points in nine service games and losing serve only once.

Mertens, who has won titles in Morocco and Switzerland this year, previous form deserted her as she struggled to cope with Halep's combination of power, guile and relentless court coverage.

Halep got off to a great start by breaking Pliskova for a 2-0 lead, only for the Czech to take the break right back to swing the match in her favor.

The 2017 Wimbledon and 2016 US Open champion was on the ropes when she was broken for the second time in the second set to fall 4-2 behind, but she came out fighting, breaking back immediately and once more to take the set.

Rafael Nadal broke John McEnroe's record of 49 straight sets won on the same surface by beating Diego Schwartzman 6-3, 6-4 in the third round of the Madrid Open on Thursday.

Mladenovic, the world number 22, was runner-up in Madrid past year but she had no answer to the firepower of Sharapova who is set to at least return to the top-40 next week.

Kvitova eased past Russia's Daria Kasatkina in the last eight, winning 6-4 6-0.

The five-time Grand Slam champion had reached only the second quarter-final of the year but was unable to build on winning the opening set as the Dutch world No 20, a victor already on the clay in Charleston, held her nerve in the deciding set.

"I think she served much better (in the second set) and I couldn't do much with the return", Halep told a news conference.

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Canadian teenager Denis Shapovalov also beat fellow countryman Milos Raonic by the same scoreline.

Earlier, Petra Kvitova battled to a 6-3, 7-6 (10/8) victory over Puerto Rico's Monica Puig to register her seventh consecutive win. I feel like it was a very good match, the hardest here.

Perhaps there was the tiniest element of revenge from Pliskova as she put paid to Simona Halep's quest for a third straight Madrid title, not to mention the dispatch of her twin sister Kristyna the day before.

"I missed in some important moments", Halep said.

World number two Caroline Wozniacki was sent packing from the third round while third-ranked Garbine Muguruza followed her swiftly out the exit door.

Kyle Edmund continued his excellent run by ousting eighth-seeded David Goffin 6-4, 6-4.

In other match yesterday, Austrian fifth seed Dominic Thiem rallied from one set down to beat Croatia's Borna Coric 2-6, 7-6 (5), 6-4, while Serbian qualifier Dusan Lajovic shocked Argentine fourth seed Juan Martín Del Potro 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (6).

Meanwhile, Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia defeated Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro 6-2, 6-3 to reach the semi-finals of thetournament for the first time.

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