Naomi Osaka on the receiving end of Simona Halep lesson in Rome

WTA Tour

Simona Halep lost only one game as she hammered Naomi Osaka at the Italian Open while Sloane Stephens and Daria Kasatkina also advanced.

World No 1 Halep actually made a sluggish start as she faced four break points in her opening service game, but she held on to make it 1-1. She then won 12 consecutive games to secure 6-1, 6-0 victory in just 59 minutes.

Indian Wells Masters champion Osaka didn’t help her cause as she made 29 unforced errors.

Halep will face Madison Keys in the third round after the American beat Donna Vekic from Croatia 7-6 (7-2), 7-6 (7-0).

Ninth seed Stephens looked like she would go one better than Halep as she won her first set against Kaia Kanepi 6-0 and was 2-0 up in the second, but the Estonian fought back to win the second set.

In the end, US Open winner Stephens required more than two hours to win 6-0, 5-7, 6-4 and set up a clash against seventh seed Caroline Garcia, who beat Timea Babos 6-3, 6-4.

The 14th-seeded Kasatkina booked a date with Elina Svitolina after she defeated American Danielle Collins 6-2, 6-3.

Greece’s Maria Sakkari, who beat Madrid Open finalist Kiki Bertens in the first round, provided the biggest upset of the morning session as she beat Karolina Pliskova 3-6, 6-3, 7-5.


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