WUHAN, China -- No.4 seed Simona Halep of Romania moved into the round of 16 at the Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open for the first time since 2016, after picking up a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic.

"I was motivated to go on court and to give everything I have, to play well, to fight for the victory," Halep said, during her post-match press conference.

Reigning Wimbledon champion Halep came into the match with a spotless 5-0 head-to-head against Strycova, and she maintained that undefeated record with her 85-minute win. Strycova, who reached her first-ever Grand Slam semifinal in singles at Wimbledon earlier this year, has yet to win a set from Halep in their six meetings.

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Halep, whose best Wuhan performance to date is a semifinal run in 2016, broke her opponent six times, and won nearly 70 percent of points off of the Strycova second service. World No.34 Strycova matched Halep in winners, but had 30 unforced errors to Halep's 21.

"It's always tough against [Strycova]," Halep stated. "It's tricky. She comes to the net. Sometimes she slices the balls. It's never easy to play against her. But I'm confident every time because I have [a] few matches won against her, so it's a good thing for me."

Halep started the match off with a bang, forcing an error from Strycova with a fiery forehand to break the Czech in the opening game. However, Strycova used her forward-thinking variety to pull herself into Halep’s early service games, and converted her third break point of the match to level the set at 2-2.

After holding for 3-2 with an ace on game point, Strycova pulled in front for the first time all day. Halep, though, pulled off an easy service hold in the following game with an ace of her own, and that kicked off a run of games for the Romanian. Strycova saved two break points at 3-3, but an atypical missed volley by the Czech let Halep break for 4-3 on her third chance of the game.

Halep cruised to the one-set lead from there, clinching the final four games of the set. The No.4 seed blasted a return winner to queue up double set point at 5-3, and notched the opening frame after Strycova fired a forehand miscue long on Halep’s first opportunity.

In the second set, Halep went up an early break at 3-1, forcing a netted error from Strycova to seal that game. However, the Czech was hardly finished, as she blasted a forehand return winner crosscourt to immediately pull back on serve in the very next game.

In the end, though, it was Halep’s day over Strycova once more. The Romanian pulled out a lengthy game to earn another break of service and go up 4-2, and she eased to victory from there as she seeks her first-ever trip to the Wuhan final.

In the round of 16, Halep will face wildcard Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan. 20-year-old Rybakina, who won her first WTA singles title earlier this season in Bucharest, knocked out lucky loser Ons Jabeur of Tunisia in three sets on Tuesday.

"It's a good start," said Halep, looking back on her win. "I'm looking forward to the next one."