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Simona Halep 'stressed' in loss to Ekaterina Makarova

Simona Halep said she was "stressed" before her limp Australian Open quarter-final loss to Ekaterina Makarova on Tuesday.

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Simona Halep said she was "stressed" before her limp Australian Open quarter-final loss to Ekaterina Makarova on Tuesday.

Halep was humbled 6-4 6-0 by 10th seed Makarova, amassing 31 unforced errors as she failed to better her run to the last eight in 2014.

The third-seeded Romanian played four out of her five matches on Rod Laver Arena this tournament but still went somewhat under the radar.

Halep said while her name was not in the headlines, she said stress got to her - not pressure of the moment.

"Not really pressure. I cannot say pressure. Just I was a little bit stressed. I don't know why," Halep said.

"I had experience from last year to play quarter-finals, so it doesn't mean that I felt pressure.

"Just I didn't feel the game, the ball. Was a very bad day for me."

Halep said her mental attrition was absent during the second set, as she departed Melbourne losing a 6-0 set for the second consecutive year.

"Sometimes you cannot manage the situation. I tried. I did everything I could this match. But, you know, just mentally because during the points maybe I didn't fight very well today.

"I just lost my concentrate to win the points, to win the match.

"So I didn't believe any more in second set, and that's maybe why I lost 6-0."

Makarova refuted the notion she advanced purely on Halep's errors, claiming her superior performance put the world number three under pressure.

"I was playing my good tennis, so maybe in the second set she was a little bit upset," the Russian said.

"She...didn't understand what to do. But she's a great player. She had a great season last year.

"She always can turn around the game, doesn't matter what's the score, so I was so concentrated."

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