Barty, Stephens through in Cincinnati
AUSTRALIAN No.1 Ashleigh Barty has continued her fine form on the North American hard courts as she reached the third round of the Cincinnati Open with a straight-sets victory over Kaia Kanepi.
Backing up her opening round win over Czech wildcard Marketa Vondrousova, 16th seeded Barty topped Estonian qualifier Kanepi 7-5 6-3 on Wednesday.
Defending US Open champion Sloane Stephens overcame a thumb injury to cruise into round three with a 6-3 6-2 win over qualifier Tatjana Maria. The match was Stephensâ€™ first since losing on Sunday to world No.1 Halep in the Canadian Open in Montreal.
Also advancing on Wednesday were 15th-seeded Belgian Elise Mertens, a 3-6 6-2 7-6 (7-1) winner over Swedish qualifier Rebecca Peterson, Russian Ekaterina Makarova and Belarusian Aryna Sabalenko.
Makarova routed French qualifier Alize Cornet 6-2 6-0 while Sabalenka upset ninth-seeded Czech Karolina Pliskova 2-6 6-3 7-5.
Also crashing out was defending champion and No.7 seed Garbine Muguruza, who was stunned by Ukraineâ€™s Lesia Tsurenko in a 2-6 6-4 6-4 second-round defeat.
Muguruza, competing in her first tune-up event for the US Open later this month, appeared to be heading for a routine victory after rolling through the first set and jumping ahead 3-0 in the decider but Tsurenko had other plans.
Tsurenko stormed back to go ahead 5-4 and sealed the contest on her first match point when a Muguruza forehand from behind the baseline sailed long, giving the Ukrainian world No.44 her first top-10 victory since 2015.
Next up for Tsurenko is a clash with Makarova.