Samantha Stosur

2-time champ Halep makes winning start in Madrid

Two-time defending champion Simona Halep brushed aside Ekaterina Makarova 6-1, 6-0 in the first round of the Madrid Open on Sunday.

Top-seeded Halep recorded her 13th consecutive victory on Madrid's clay courts.

"I was moving great. I felt the game, I like to play on this court," Halep said. "Always when I come back here, I feel a little bit more relaxed, so maybe that's why I can touch my best level every time I play."

Second-seeded Caroline Wozniacki also eased through, dispensing with Daria Gavrilova 6-3, 6-1. The Australian Open champion is playing a week after she withdrew from the Istanbul Cup due to an abdominal injury.

Third-seeded...

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