Italian Open: World number one Simona Halep eases past Naomi Osaka in Rome

Simona Halep

Top seed Simona Halep eased into the third round of the Italian Open with a straight-sets win over Naomi Osaka.

The world number one from Romania needed less than an hour to beat her Japanese opponent 6-1 6-0 in Rome.

Halep, 26, was beaten by Elina Svitolina in last year’s final and needs to reach the quarter-finals this week to retain her number one ranking.

She will play either Croatian Donna Vekic or American Madison Keys for a place in the last eight.

Halep needed to save four break points in her opening service game, but then reeled off 12 consecutive games to avenge her Indian Wells loss to eventual champion Osaka in March.

Osaka, 20, failed to convert any of her six break-point opportunities, hitting 29 unforced errors to Halep’s 14.

France’s Caroline Garcia also eased into the third round with a 6-3 6-4 win over Hungary’s Timea Babos having reached the semi-finals in Madrid last week.

The seventh seed will next play either American Sloane Stephens or Kaia Kanepi of Estonia.

BBC Sports - View Original Story

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