By Ros Satar, in Stuttgart

  • Coco Vandeweghe def. Simona Halep [1] 6-4 6-1
  • Vandeweghe increases her record against World No. 1s to 3-1
STUTTGART, GERMANY – World No. 1 & top seed Simona Halep was stunned in the first quarter-final as she lost in straight sets to Coco Vandeweghe.

 

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Coco Vandeweghe def. Simona Halep [1] 6-4 6-1

World No. 1 Simona Halep found herself beaten off the blocks in the opening quarter-final at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix. Although the opening exchanges were pretty competitive with the first break points coming in the sixth game, it always looked as though Halep was on the back foot. Coco Vandeweghe’s serving was on point, aided and abetted of course by the speedy court here.

Although Halep fended off a couple of break points, all Vandeweghe needed was a break right at the end of the set to leave the World No. 1 with more than an uphill battle. In fact, in truth it really was not much of a battle as Vandeweghe leapt out to a 3-0 lead, and with Halep only able to pick up one game, it was a ruthless display from the American, who makes no bones about the fact she feels no joy to be on the clay.

 

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Swerves and Steers as the quarter-finals are set at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, Stuttgart

 

Halep had admitted in her pre-tournament press that she had felt her hamstring during Fed Cup weekend, and it seemed to trouble her a little in a tough three-setter against Magdalena Rybarikova, although she was quick to point out that Vandeweghe’s serving meant she could not get into the rhythm of her game at all.

Halep said: “I couldn’t find the timing, I couldn’t have the timing of the ball and everything went very fast. So, it was like a flash and I don’t really know what happened during the match, but I know that she served very well, and I couldn’t return. And then my serve went a little bit down. So, I think the key was that she was staying strong the whole match and that’s why she won today.”

Next up for the Romanian is Madrid where she will return as a two-time defending champion. Although the balls will be fizzing through the air quite quickly there too, there are differences to the environment she has faced here, where her best performances were semi-finals in 2015 and 2017.

She said: “It’s normal clay. It’s different. Here you don’t wet the court, so it’s different structure, it’s not the real clay. That’s why it’s different and I don’t really feel it as I want.

“Madrid I like because it’s a little bit heavier, you don’t slide that match. Here I feel like I cannot keep my feet on the ground.”

Halep will next play in the Mutua Madrid Open, which takes place between 6-13 May.

 

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Swerves and Steers as the quarter-finals are set at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, Stuttgart

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