No.3 seed Simona Halep dropped just four games to advance to the second round of the Mutua Madrid Open, defeating Russian qualifier Margarita Gasparyan in straight sets.
WTA Staff
May 5, 2019

MADRID, Spain - Two-time champion Simona Halep is off and running at the Mutua Madrid Open.

The No.3 seed needed just 74 minutes to defeat Russian qualifier Margarita Gasparyan in Sunday's first round, 6-0, 6-4.

Halep raced through the opening set and built a 5-2 lead in the second, before the Russian saved a match point en route to getting back on serve in the second set.

However, the two-time champion settled down when it mattered most, saving a game point which would have seen Gasparyan level at 5-5, before sealing her sixth break of the match and the overall victory.

"It was a good match, even if the first set was fast. The second one was tougher, and I feel happy that I could win this match," Halep said on-court after the match.

"I did everything I could today and I'm happy with the victory."

The Romanian was near-perfect on break point opportunities in the match, going six-for-seven in the World No.65's service games, and limited Gasparyan to just 37 percent of first-serve points won.

Up next, the No.3 seed will face either Great Britain's Johanna Konta, who is fresh off a runner-up showing on the red clay in Rabat, or American Alison Riske.