Halep and Sharapova advance

Top seed Simona Halep and Maria Sharapova moved into the third round of Roland Garros following their respective straight set wins on Thursday.

Halep was dominant in her 6-3, 6-1 win over wildcard Taylor Townsend, needing just 68 minutes on Court Philippe-Chatrier.

The diminutive Romanian made amends for a slow start against her opponent yesterday, racing out to a 4-0 love lead. While the American showed some resistance later on, saving a set point and breaking, Halep broke right back to take the set.

The winners continued to fly of Halep’s racket in the second set as she notched up 21 in total. Two breaks would be enough to see Halep through to the third round for the fourth time in Paris.

Waiting for her there is a resurgent Andrea Petkovic, who defeated Bethanie Mattek-Sands 6-0, 7-6(5) earlier in the day. Halep leads their head-to-head 7-1, witn the German’s only win coming on clay in 2009.

Meanwhile, Sharapova reached the third round for 13th time following her 7-5, 6-4 victory over Donna Vekic. The Croatian showed some fight, saving five match points.

The two-time Roland Garros champion faces one of her biggest tests this year next in sixth seed Karolina Pliskova. The Czech beat fellow countryman Lucie Safarova 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 earlier. The pair have met just once before in 2015, with the Russian star winning in straight sets.

Finally, former world number one Angelique Kerber made short work of Ana Bogdan, winning 6-2, 6-3.

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