Italian Open: Halep and Azarenka advance to the second round | Tennis News


Former world number ones Simona Halep and Victoria Azarenka advanced to the second round of the Italian Open in Rome while four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka was forced to withdraw from the tournament due to injury at the ankle.
Halep, the 2020 Rome champion, beat France’s Alize Cornet 6-4 6-4 in revenge for her fourth-round loss at the Australian Open in January.
In a match that had 10 break points converted by both players, Halep led 5-1 in both sets before Cornet hit back twice before the Romanian got the job done, sealing the progress with a forehand winner on Cornet’s service.
Azarenka met a familiar foe in Switzerland’s Viktorija Golubic, whom she beat at the same stage of the Madrid Open late last month.
Although the game in Madrid was closer, this time Azarenka beat them hard with a score of 6-3 6-0, finishing the game in just 68 minutes.
Organizers have confirmed that Osaka has pulled out with a left ankle injury and opponent Sara Sorribes Tormo will now face lucky loser Nuria Parrizas Diaz.
Defending champion and top seed Iga Swiatek and Madrid champion Ons Jabeur are in action on Tuesday.

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