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Simona Halep 'honoured' to be coached by Patrick Mouratoglou at Madrid Open

Simona Halep

Simona Halep has continued the winning start to her partnership with Patrick Mouratoglou as she cruises through to the third round of the Madrid Open.

Halep, a former world number one, has had a difficult year with recurring injury problems that saw her miss Roland Garros and Wimbledon in 2021.

After admitting she was contemplating retirement, Halep spent four weeks at Mouratoglou's academy in France earlier this year and Madrid is their first tournament working together.

The partnership seems to be a success so far, as the Romanian is yet to drop a set, winning her first round match against Shuai Zhang, 6-2, 6-3,and then dispatching world number two Paula Badosa 6-3, 6-1.

The win was unexpected with Badosa not only in good form, but playing in front of a home-crowd so Halep was naturally delighted.

“I feel great, I felt I was playing some good tennis and I’m really happy about it,” Halep said.

“She (Badosa) is very good at this moment. She is number two in the world so it’s just confidence. She was playing great but I believed I had my chance so I gave everything I had."

Halep went on to pay tribute to her new mentor Mouratoglou, who has worked with Serena Williams for a number of years.

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“It’s a pleasure and an honour to have Patrick in my box as a coach," said Halep.

"We are working very hard on some things and as I see I am playing very well every match. I’m just focusing on getting better and getting stronger.”

Halep's next opponent will be young American Coco Gauff, who she recently defeated 6-3, 6-4 at Indian Wells.

"I played against her in Indian Wells not a long time ago, she’s always a dangerous, tough player," said Halep.

"I think she’s super young, and she’s playing great tennis, so credit to her," Halep said of the 18-year-old.

“It’s great to see that in tennis. I’m just focusing, sounds like a cliché from me, but I’m really focusing on myself, and I just want to give everything I have every match and to follow what I need to follow.”

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