Naomi Osaka advances at Italian Open but Sloane Stephens downed by Johanna Konta
Johanna Konta rekindled some of her best form to defeat Sloane Stephens at the Italian Open, where Naomi Osaka also impressed on Thursday.
Konta has struggled since a fine 2017, seeing her ranking plummet as she found wins hard to come by.
She, though, reminded us what shes capable of with a fine win 6-7 (3-7), 6-4, 6-1 over seventh seed Stephens in Rome.
She won’t have long to savour the victory though, as she faces Venus Williams almost immediately afterwards to make up time lost on washed-out Wednesday.
Osaka meanwhile looked in good shape, powering her way to an impressive 6-3, 6-3 win over Dominika Cibulkova.
Sixth seed Kiki Bertens also advanced, beating Amanda Anisimova 6-2, 4-6, 7-5, and Garbine Murguruza banished Danielle Collins 6-4, 4-6, 6-2.
However, Julia Goerges’ tournament was ended by a third set retirement against Mihaela Buzarnescu, and in-form Belinda Bencic suffered a surprised defeat to Kristina Mladenovic.
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