World number three Simona Halep was dumped out of the Madrid Open on Tuesday, losing 4-6, 7-5, 7-5 in the round of 16 to the Belgian Elise Mertens.
Halep had sailed through the first two rounds on the Spanish clay without dropping a set but she ended up second best in a match which yielded 15 breaks of serve.
Halep produced 10 double faults in the match, Mertens nine.
Halep, a two-time Grand Slam champion and former world number one, was twice a break up in the final set at 3-1 and 4-3 but finally succumbed after just over two and a half hours of play.
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