In what could be the most incredible scorelines of the week, world number one Simona Halep had the perfect start into her Mutua Madrid Open after ousting former top-10 player Ekaterina Makarova with a commanding 6-1, 6-0 score. The Romanian needed just a quick 51 minutes to claim the outstanding win, outplaying her opponent from start to finish.
Halep ended the match with some pretty clean statistics, hitting 11 winners to just eight unforced errors while Makarova was extremely generous with her play, committing 30 errors in 51 minutes hitting just 10 winners. The world number one will now play a Belgian in the second round, with Rabat champion Elise Mertens, who is on a 12-match winning streak, potentially being her opponent.
Halep storms past Makarova in terrific first set
It was a thunderous start from the world number one Halep as she immediately stamped her authority across the court with some impressive play, stepping up to her label as the overwhelming favourite for the title. Whereas, Makarova struggled with her game especially when clay is Halep’s most preferred surface while the Russian lacked the depth in every aspect of her game.
Within a blink of an eye, it was Halep who grabbed the perfect start anyone would have wanted. She rattled off eight of the first nine points, opening an early 2-0 lead before Makarova unexpectedly got on board with an immediate break back. Her forehands were peaking throughout that particular game, and Halep could not handle the pace.
However, that turned out to be the only game Makarova would have won through the entire match, with Halep getting her gear going once more, coming up with some vicious returns and solid baseline work to regain the lead.
From there, it was just simply one-way traffic as Makarova failed to find the rhythm on her serve, putting in some shocking numbers as she won just three points on serve in the first set, including going 1/10 on her first serves. Credit has to belong to Halep, though, as she fended off a break point in the final game to serve out the opening set 6-1 after just 22 minutes.
Halep completely whitewashes the Russian
A marathon game started the second set as Makarova put in her best effort in an attempt to grab her first service hold. However, she failed to fend off the incoming onslaught from the world number one with yet another error putting her in deep trouble, allowing Halep to convert her third break point in the game.
The tactics were not working well for Makarova, who looked clueless on the court as Halep overpowered and dictated play in almost all the rallies. The Russian conceded 12 of the next 16 points, and soon found herself trailing 0-4 on the scoreboard.
Having the golden opportunity to spare herself from more embarrassment, the former world number eight wasted three game points as Halep was just too good, firing on all cylinders to grab another break. Serving out the match, the Romanian had no problems as she clinched the comfortable and one-sided win after just a mere 51 minutes of play.