Halep remains in contention in Cincy

Simona Halep was in the mood at the Western & Southern Open as she trounced Annika Beck in no time to progress to the last 16.

Halep, who lost to Serena Williams in the final of the same tournament last year, was broken early on in the opening set, however she broke back immediately and then never looked back again in the match as she took the first 6-3 and then the second 6-1 in an exhibition of hugely impressive baseline hitting.

Speaking after, the Romanian said she felt comfortable in the surroundings and was pleased with her performance.

"I'm really happy I'm back here in Cincinnati," Halep smiled after the match.

"I have great memories from last year, I played very good tennis today and I'm really happy with my game.

"It was tough at the beginning because we didn't have the chance to warm up properly because of the rain, and I was a little bit tight. I had two weeks off, and the first match back is always tough.

"I just had to stay relaxed, step forward and hit the ball."

Elsewhere on a busy day in The Fountain City there were hard-fought wins for the Japanese duo of Misaki Doi and Kurumi Nara over Christina McHale and Viktorija Golubic respectively. However, Nara had to play again on the same day and crashed out to Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

The likes of Agnieszka Radwanska, Angelique Kerber and Garbiñe Muguruza are all safely through to the final 16 too.