Kasatkina hammers Halep at Wuhan Open

Daria Kasatkina stunned second-seeded Simona Halep in straight sets in the second round of the Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open in China on Tuesday.

The 20-year-old Russian dismantled Romanian Halep's game, winning 6-2, 6-1 in 74 minutes.

The 25-year-old Halep broke her opponent immediately but was unable to hold her own serve once in the first set, losing it four times, with the two games won coming off her opponents serve.

In the next set, Halep managed to hold serve for the first time in the second game but thereafter Kasatkina won five games in a row to win the set and match 6-1.

In an interview afterwards, Kasatkina said the match was closer than the score suggests and she was glad to have got past her favoured opponent.

“It's always difficult to play against Simona. The game was much more difficult than the score looks. I played a good game.

"I prepared for this match well,” the world No.31 said.

“I’ll just try to play my best tennis, to focus on every game and every point because I don't want to say something and then it doesn't happen,” she added, when asked about her plans for the remainder of the season.

In other results, No.3 seed Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic beat China's Zhang Shuai 6-4, 3-6, 6-4  in just over two hours.

Eighth seed Jelena Ostapenko fought back from a set down get past Czech Barbora Strycova 2-6, 7-5, 6-3 after the match was then interrupted by a heat break but when they returned the Latvian was unstoppable.

Seventh seed Dominika Cibulkova reached the third round defeating Swiss wildcard Jil Teichmann 6-2, 6-2 while Alizé Cornet of France caused an upset by cruising past sixth seed Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-3, 6-3.

Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia thumped Christina McHale 6-1, 6-1 and Ekaterina Makarova got the better of  Lauren Davis 6-2, 6-4 while Varvara Lepchenko downed Kiki Bertens 6-4, 6-4.

Hometown favourite Wang Qiang defeated Romania's Sorana Cirstea 6-3, 6-3.