BEIJING, China - Unseeded Russian Ekaterina Alexandrova scored her first Top 10 win of the season in commanding fashion over No. 6 seed Simona Halep in the second round of the China Open, 6-2, 6-3.

After giving the Romanian all she could handle at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati earlier this summer, the Russian No.1 finished what she started over the course of 64 minutes.

"It was a pretty tough match, I think, but I think she didn't play that well," Alexandrova assessed after the match.

"I remember when we played last time in Cincinnati, it was tougher than today, but I tried to stay focused for the whole match because I knew she could play just amazing.

"I tried to stay concentrated and focused, and I'm happy I did that until the end."

Having lost all five previous matches against the Top 10 this season, the World No. 39 broke serve six times to score her best-ever win by ranking over the reigning Wimbledon champion, and the second Top 10 victory of her career overall. 

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A trio of hard-fought games all went Alexandrova's way to begin the match, as each extended well past deuce but nonetheless went to the 24-year-old's side of the scoreboard. 

The Russian broke Halep in her first service game of the opener, and saved three break points in her ensuing service game to open up a 3-0 lead.

Arriving in Beijing after retiring against Elena Rybakina in the second round in Wuhan, Halep lost just two games against Sweden's Rebecca Peterson in Sunday's first round, but faced the prospect of playing on consecutive days for the first time since the injury.

"It was a tough one today. I didn't recover well after my first match, so it was very tough for me to play and she played really well," Halep said in defeat.

"The injury from Wuhan, it's getting worse, so I have to go home and take an MRI...take a break and do some treatment."

Though she was pegged back on serve as the World No. 6 won two straight games, Alexandrova won five in a row herself to not only seal the first set, but take a break lead in the second.

Overcoming eight double faults, five of which she hit in the second set as she was twice broken to lose her break lead, the big-hitting Russian nonetheless sealed victory down the stretch by winning eight of the last 10 points. 

Looking to advance to her sicth, and biggest, quarterfinal of the season, Alexandrova will next face the winner of the match between No. 12 seed and Wuhan champion Aryna Sabalenka and compatriot Daria Kasatkina in the round of 16.

"I tried to do the best that I can do. I'm not quite used to the balls, so it's not easy, especially on serve, but most of the time I felt pretty good today," Alexandrova added.

"I'm just going to do the same as I did today, stay focused and try to do my best."