Stosur overpowers Halep in soggy Paris to reach quarters

Tue May 31, 2016 12:16pm EDT
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By John Stonestreet

PARIS (Reuters) - Sam Stosur powered into the French Open quarter-finals on Tuesday with a straight sets win against Simona Halep, adapting better to damp and heavy conditions that her higher-ranked Romanian opponent called unsafe.

In a match between two former Roland Garros finalists that spanned three days, was often punctuated by drizzle and twice suspended due to rain, the 21st-seeded Australian overcame a slow start to beat Halep 7-6(0) 6-3.

In her fourth Roland Garros quarter-final, Stosur will face 102nd-ranked Tsvetana Pironkova after the Bulgarian's shock three-set win over world number two Agnieszka Radwanska, who also criticized Tuesday's playing conditions.

Organizers lost a whole day's play on Monday, the tournament's first washout since 2000.

Stosur's win was her first against Halep in their last five encounters and marked a sharp turnaround from their previous clash in April, also on clay, in the Madrid Open semi-final, which the Romanian won 6-2 6-0.

"Madrid was not a good night for me, and ...obviously you get this opportunity to play her again in a big match," Stosur told a news conference.

"Heavy, wet conditions like this don't typically help me too much, but I think today I was able to use them better (than Halep)."

Halep agreed.   Continued...

Tennis - French Open - Roland Garros - Simona Halep of Romania v Naomi Osaka of Japan - Paris, France - 27/05/16. Halep serves. REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen