ROME, Italy - Simona Halep celebrated her first win over Laura Siegemund at the third time of asking, beating the German 6-4, 6-4 at the Internazionali BNL D'Italia to progress to the third round.
Going into the match, Halep had lost just four matches on clay since the start of the 2016 clay season. Two of those losses came to Siegemund, both in Stuttgart. In fact she had yet to take a set off the German.
Perhaps encouraged by that strong record against the Romanian, Siegemund looked dangerous from the start, breaking Halep's serve in the very first game.
From there, Halep focused hard to read the German's unconventional style, regrouping to take the first set 6-4, finishing with a break of serve to 15.
Siegemund stayed with Halep in the second set, putting on a gutsy display, and managed to save four match points before finally falling to the sixth seed.
"Actually, it wasn't not easy," said Halep, who has now won 23 of her last 27 matches on clay. "I came here after a great effort in Madrid, many matches. Long matches, as well.
"Today was difficult. I was a little bit nervous before the match, because it's very hot here. Everything is different. The racquet is different. I feel it was a little bit tighter strung.
"I had to adjust, to adapt to this court, but was not easy at all today. So I'm just happy that I could win."