Tennis
Rybarikova stuns Halep in New Haven
TENNIS

Rybarikova stuns Halep in New Haven

Magdalena Rybarikova caused a stir when she downed world number two Simona Halep at the Connecticut Open.

The Slovakian, ranked 68th, ousted top seed Halep 6-2 4-6 6-3 in just under two hours on the New Haven hard courts on Tuesday.

Rybarikova broke the Halep serve thrice in succession from 2-1 up in the first set to take the advantage, before the French Open finalist squared the match - leaping to a 3-0 double-break lead before holding onto her lead to send the match to a decider.

Neither player got a look at a break point until the sixth game, but at the first time of asking, Rybarikova converted for a 4-2 lead.

The 25-year-old then denied Halep twice on break point in the ninth game to serve it out on her second match point.

It was a much-needed breakthrough for Rybarikova, who had just one win in seven matches since her run to the semi-finals at 's-Hertogenbosch in June.


Also exiting the WTA International event prematurely was sixth seed Flavia Pennetta, the Italian beaten 6-1 7-6 (7-3) by American Alison Riske.

Riske, the world number 44, hit eight aces in nine service games to ease into the quarter-finals where she will meet Rybarikova.

Czech second seed Petra Kvitova will play countrywoman Barbora Zahlavova Strycova in the last eight, after the pair claimed straight-set victories.

Kvitova overturned a loss to Russia's Ekaterina Makarova in Montreal earlier in the North American swing, downing her fellow left-hander 6-2 6-1.

The two-time Wimbledon champion will face Zahlavova Strycova next, after the latter downed French lucky loser Caroline Garcia 7-5 6-2.

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