Halep, Badosa to face off after Madrid Open wins

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MADRID — Two-time Madrid Open champion Simona Halep and second-ranked Paula Badosa will meet for the first time in the tournament’s second round after opening with victories on Thursday.

Halep beat Zhang Shuai 6-2, 6-3; Badosa defeated Veronika Kudermetova 6-3, 6-0.

Halep won consecutive Madrid titles in 2016 and 2017 and was runner-up in 2014 and 2019. Badosa, a semifinalist in Madrid last year, made it to No. 2 in the world for the first time this week.

Halep won her opening match under a closed roof on a rainy morning in the Spanish capital.

Badosa advanced after saving all five break points she faced.

Top-ranked Iga Swiatek withdrew from the clay-court tournament on Wednesday because of a sore arm.

Also, Coco Gauff defeated Anna Karolina Schmiedlova 6-0, 6-2 and Victoria Azarenka beat Viktorija Golubic 7-6 (5), 6-3.

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