It was a clash of the remaining two seeds left in the draw as Simona Halep and Timea Bacsinszky went head to head in the third round. Halep was looking to avenge her recent loss to the Swiss in the Miami Open while Bacsinszky looked to continue her fine run.
And it was the Romanian who looked stronger against perhaps a tired Bacsinszky as she took the first set. The Swiss did have a lead which she let slip in the second set before Halep eventually took control to seal an emphatic 6-2, 6-3 straight sets victory.
Tight start before Halep runs away with set
It was looking to be a battle right from the start as Halep had to work hard for her first hold of the set. The same happened in Bacsinszky’s game and as the game dragged on Halep created her first break chance of the set. The Swiss fired her shot long to hand the break to the Romanian. Bacsinszky was fighting hard to get the break back but just could not find a way past a fired up Halep as the Romanian took a 3-0 lead.
The Swiss was not done yet though as she hammered winners to create her first break opportunities in the following game. And she capitalized hitting a pacey return that left Halep helpless to earn the break back for 2-3. However, Bacsinszky immediately let the massive effort go to waste as the Romanian came firing back to break to take a 4-2 lead.
Bacsinszky tried bringing in Halep to the net in an attempt to unsettle her but Halep was quick and was hitting back with interest as she went on to extend her lead to within a game from taking the set. With momentum firmly on her side, Halep eventually closed out the set 6-2.
Halep made to work harder
A game filled with uncharacteristic errors by Halep handed Bacsinszky an early 2-1 lead in the second set. However a sloppy game of poor serves handed the break right back to the Romanian who levelled the set 2-2. Chances once again presented themselves to the Swiss player as Halep struggled on serve. The Romanian though fended off three break points to edge 3-2 on serve.
Both players then held their service games as the match went on. Halep upped her level in the seventh game finding break points after winning some enticing rallies with aggressive shots. The pressure got to the Swiss and she sent her forehand long to let Halep serve out the set trailing 3-5. Which the Romanian did in style, closing out the victory in an hour and 12 minutes.
With her quick pace and agility, Halep was winning alot more points at the net, 15 out of 19 created. Bacsinszky only had seven net points and won just four of those.
The Romanian also hit 19 winners to the Swiss’ 12. And Halep was a tad neater than her opponent who made three more errors at 21.