Ashleigh Barty ousts Maria Sharapova as Simona Halep survives scare

Top seed Ashleigh Barty overcame a slow start to defeat Maria Sharapova 6-4, 6-1, while Simona Halep beat Ekaterina Alexandrova 3-6, 7-5, 6-4 in the second round of the Cincinnati Masters yesterday morning (Singapore time).

French Open champion Barty double-faulted to give Sharapova a 2-1 lead in the first set. It looked like an upset could be brewing in the showdown between the two former tennis world No. 1s.

But an error-prone Sharapova bowed out after she produced six double-faults and squandered six of her seven breakpoint opportunities.

Wimbledon champion Halep had her back against the wall against the big-serving Alexandrova when she dropped the first set and trailed 5-4 in the second, but won the next three games and elevated her play again in the decider.

World No. 1 Naomi Osaka improved to 4-0 against Aliaksandra Sasnovich with a 7-6(7/3), 2-6, 6-2 win. - REUTERS