Simona Halep caused a surprise in round 1 a she beat Czech Iveta Benesova in straight sets, 6-4 6-1 on Tuesday to progress into round 2 at Marbella.

The unseeded Romanian will face fellow countrywoman Simona Cirstea in the second round. Cirstea has been on dire form this season after her breakthrough performance at last year’s French Open. She has not made it past the second round of any tournament this year which will give Cirstea the confidence she needs to progress here.