Simona Halep progresses in Rome after injury ends Madison Keys’ hopes

Simona Halep is on course to retain the world number one spot after moving past Madison Keys in Rome.

However, it was down to Keys’ withdrawal through injury.

“I felt my rib in my match yesterday and after trying to warm up this morning it was still painful,” Keys said.

It was bad news for Keys’ doubles partner Venus Williams, and she had further misery heaped on her in the singles competition after losing 6-2 7-6 to Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit.

Defending champion Elina Svitolina is safely through after beating Darya Kasatkina 0-6 6-3 6-2, and fifth-seed Jelena Ostapenko overcame Johana Konta 2-6 6-3 6-4.

Angelique Kerber also advanced with a 6-1 6-1 win over Greece’s Maria Sakkari.