MADRID, Spain - World No.3 Simona Halep put in the most dominant performance of her career at the Mutua Madrid Open, losing just 12 points en route to a 6-0, 6-0 win over No.46 Viktoria Kuzmova in the Round of 16.
"I played nearly perfect today," Halep said after the match.
The reigning Roland Garros champion won 48 of the 60 points played, winning an astounding 80% of the points played over the course of her 44-minute clay-court masterclass. Halep hit 14 winners to just 4 unforced errors, converted 6 out 6 break points, and never faced a break point on her serve. And she won all but one point when returning Kuzmova's first serve.
"Not a bad statistic," Halep said with a wry smile. "I think it was the best match that I have ever had.
"I remember once I won 6-0, 6-0 in 2016 in Bucharest, the final, but I don't know if it was so fast. So it's the best match and I'm happy with the way I played."
Prior to Wednesday's performance, Halep's most dominant win came in that 2016 Bucharest final, where she lost 21 points to Anastasija Sevastova en route to her first tour-level double-bagel. Her win over Kuzmova was her second career double-bagel win, and the third on tour this year.
How did Halep's win stack up to the two other 6-0, 6-0 wins this season? It was the best of the bunch.
M.Sharapova d. H.Dart, Australian Open R1, 55 points to 29 points
A.Pavlyuchenkova d. I.Jorovic, Monterrey R16, 53 points to 21 points
S.Halep d. V.Kuzmova, Madrid R16, 48 points to 12 points
By every statistical metric, Halep's win was the most dominant WTA performance of the season so far.
"I felt peaceful on court," Halep said. "Sometimes during the matches you feel insecure of your game but today was not the case. Today, I felt every single shot and I knew that I can win every point against her. So I think the confidence was really very high.
"But I had doubles after and I woke up," Halep said with a laugh. Halep and her partner Irina Camelia Begu lost 6-3 6-3 to World No.1s Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova. "So, it was a normal match in doubles."
"And now I have again to think about the game for tomorrow and I know that what happened this morning will not be every day. So I will take just the confidence from this match and nothing else.
"So it's finished and it's gone, so now it's another challenge coming tomorrow."
Halep plays No.9 Ashleigh Barty in the quarterfinals.
"I think without a doubt she’s the best, most consistent clay courter out there," Barty said. "We had a quality practice session earlier this week. It was nice. The first time we’ve hit together and it was a really good level.”
"It’s the absolute test, to play against the best."
Stats and Information provided by SAP Tennis Analytics.