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Halep tops rival Suarez Navarro to reach U.S. Open quarters

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Sep 5, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain hits a shot to Simona Halep of Romania on day eight of the 2016 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 5, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain hits a shot to Simona Halep of Romania on day eight of the 2016 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

By Larry Fine

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Fifth-seeded Simona Halep beat 11th-seeded Spanish rival Carla Suarez Navarro 6-2 7-5 on Monday to reach the quarter-finals of the U.S. Open on Monday.

The 24-year-old Romanian was broken serving for the match at 5-4 but she broke right back, and after falling behind 0-30 in the 11th game swept the last four points in a row to end it.

Halep, who reached the semi-finals at Flushing Meadows last year, edged ahead in her rivalry with Suarez Navarro, now leading their head-to-head series 6-5.

"I'm really happy I could win this match. It's really tough to beat her. I just gave everything I had," Halep said in an on-court interview.

The in-form Halep, a three-times winner this year who owns a 23-3 record dating back to start of French Open, will play either top-seeded Serena Williams or unseeded Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan in the quarters.

The Romanian is bracing for a probable showdown with world number one Williams.

"The next round will be a very tough one, so I want to enjoy this victory today," said Halep.

(Editing by Frank Pingue)


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