Naomi Osaka advances at Italian Open but Sloane Stephens downed by Johanna Konta

A happy 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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