Following an excellent start to her 2015 season, which included title wins in Dubai and Indian Wells, and most recently reached the semi-final stage in Miami, Simona Halep was dealt a significant blow on Sunday when she was ousted from the Madrid Open in her opening round match.
Faced with the inconsistent game of French No. 1 Alize Cornet, many assumed that Halep would be victorious en route to the second round of the tournament. However, the Romanian played an off-colour match and eventually surrendered the contest in straight sets.
The former finalist at this event, who worked her way through a tough draw last year before she was denied the title by Russian superstar Maria Sharapova, was unable to rework some of that magic this season and once she lost the opening set tiebreak, she seemed to lose the remainder of her motivation. She eventually allowed Cornet to close out the affair 7-6(6), 6-3.
Cornet, who is ranked No. 28 and holds a 10-9 win/loss record so far this season, will come up against Italy’s Roberta Vinci in the second round of the tournament.
Halep was not the only player who was eliminated unceremoniously in her opening round match, as Eugenie Bouchard continued her disappointing trend with yet another first round loss, this time to Barbora Strycova. The Canadian was up 6-0 but still lost the match in baffling fashion, 0-6, 6-3, 6-3 to Strycova.
The bizarre seeded action concluded with yet another untimely upset, as Angelique Kerber had her undefeated clay court run in 2015 snapped unceremoniously following a three set loss to Samantha Stosur. The German lost the match 4-6, 6-3, 6-3.