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Halep beats Osaka, advances to Italian Open 3rd round

Rome, May 16: Romania’s Simona Halep on Wednesday defeated Japan’s Naomi Osaka 6-1, 6-0 to advance to the third round of the Italian Open, an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 clay-court tournament.

It took the World No. 1 just 59 minutes to beat Osaka, World No. 21, moving one step closer to winning her first Italian Open title, after finishing runner-up in 2017, reports Efe.

Halep, 26, fired 15 winners compared to Osaka’s 10, and has won four out of five career matches against the Japanese player.

In the upcoming round, Halep is set to take on either the United States’ Madison Keys or Croatia’s Donna Vekic, who knocked out Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro in the tournament’s first round on Monday. World No. 7 Caroline Garcia of France also advanced to the third round of the Italian Open for the first time in her career on Wednesday defeating Timea Babos of Hungary 6-3, 6-4. Garcia prevailed over world No. 38 Babos in one hour and 20 minutes,
Next up, Garcia is to square off against world No. 10 Sloane Stephens of the United States, who defeated Kaia Kanepi of Estonia 6-0, 5-7, 6-4. (IANS)

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Ankur Kalita