Simona Halep ends Maria Sharapova hoodoo


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Simona Halep managed to claim a first ever win over Maria Sharapova in the China Open on Wednesday.

Sharapova had won all seven meetings between the two prior to their clash in China but she found Halep in sensational form in Beijing, as the 26-year-old secured a 6-2 6-2 victory in one hour and 14 minutes.

The pair met in the first round of the US Open as Sharapova needed a wild card to secure a spot in the final Grand Slam of the year.

The Russian won in a three-set epic that lasted nearly three hours but Halep took her revenge in style in China.

The Romanian broke in the first game of the first set but Sharapova immediately responded with a break of her own.

However, Halep seized the advantage with another break of serve in the third game before taking a 4-1 lead and then seeing out the set.

The second set followed a similar pattern but Sharapova did manage to hold in the opener, surviving a break point as Halep forced deuce four times.

The 26-year-old two-time French Open finalist broke Sharapova’s serve twice in the second set and was rarely troubled in her own service games, with the Russian unable to force any break points of her own as she tried to get back into the match.

Halep will face either Daria Kasatkina of Agnieszka Radwanska in the quarter-finals.

Halep is 12.00 to win the Australian Open 2018 outright and 7.50 to win the French Open next year.

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