Osaka, Halep battle into last 16 as Barty crushes Sharapova
Naomi Osaka and Simona Halep battled into the last 16 at the Western & Southern Open, while Ashleigh Barty crushed Maria Sharapova.
Osaka is back at world number one and the Japanese star moved through her second-round match at the WTA Premier event in Cincinnati on Wednesday.
Like Osaka, Halep – a three-time runner-up – was tested, while Barty needed less than 90 minutes to thrash Sharapova.
OSAKA, HALEP PUSHED TO THREE
Osaka needed more than two hours to overcome Aliaksandra Sasnovich 7-6 (7-3) 2-6 6-2 in the second round.
She had won her previous three meetings with the Belarusian in straight sets, but was pushed at the hard-court tournament.
Osaka will next face Hsieh Su-wei, who got past qualifier Jennifer Brady 7-6 (11-9) 6-3.
Halep, a finalist at the event in 2015, 2017 and 2018, came from a set and a break down to beat Ekaterina Alexandrova 3-6 7-5 6-4.
The Romanian will meet Madison Keys, who eased past Daria Kasatkina 6-4 6-1.
BARTY BRUSHES PAST SHARAPOVA
A surprise last-32 loser at the Rogers Cup, Barty dominated Sharapova in a 6-4 6-1 victory.
The Australian broke serve four times during her 40th win of the season while continuing Sharapova's rough 2019.
Sharapova, a five-time grand slam champion, holds just an 8-6 win-loss record in 2019.
Barty will meet Anett Kontaveit, who was too good for Polish teenager Iga Swiatek 6-4 7-6 (7-2).
PLISKOVA, SVITOLINA THROUGH ON GOOD DAY FOR SEEDS
Champion in 2016, Karolina Pliskova was untroubled by Wang Yafan, winning 6-1 6-3.
Meanwhile, Aryna Sabalenka, the ninth seed, cruised past Zheng Saisai 6-4 6-3.
Elina Svitolina will face Sofia Kenin after their 6-4 6-1 wins over Elise Mertens and Zarina Diyas respectively, while Sloane Stephens and Donna Vekic – who beat Victoria Azarenka – progressed along with Svetlana Kuznetsova and Rebecca Peterson.