Halep in cruise control, Pliskova loses control

World number one Simona Halep took advantage of an out of sorts Naomi Osaka to reach the third round of the Italian Open on Wednesday.

The diminutive Romanian needed just one hour to ease past Osaka 6-1 6-0 on the clay courts of Rome. Halep took the opportunities that came her way, converting 6/7 breakpoints.

Meanwhile, Osaka, who was trying to overpower Halep, would notch up 29 unforced errors in a misdirected power game. Halep is hunting down her second title of 2018.

The victory earns the top seed a third round date with Madison Keys, who she leads 5-1 in their head-to-head stat. Keys battled past Donna Vekic 7-6(2), 7-6(0) in a tense affair.

In an upset, world number 42 Maria Sakkari of Greece came back from a set down to knock out sixth seed Karolina Pliskova 3-6, 6-3, 7-5, while seventh seed Caroline Garcia defeated Timea Babos 6-3, 6-4.

Pliskova was none too happy with her shock defeat, going so far as to smash her racket against the umpire’s chair to show her displeasure!

Maria Sharapova secured an encouraging comeback win over Dominika Cibulkova, battling back from a set down to defeat the Slovakian 3-6, 6-4, 6-2, while ninth seed Venus Williams advanced after beating Elena Vesnina 6-2, 4-6, 7-5.

Second seed Caroline Wozniacki took to the court in one of the final matches of the evening, and wasted little in dispatching Alison Van Uytvanck 6-1, 6-4.