Australia’s Ash Barty has advanced to round three at the WTA Premier 5 event in Cincinnati after a 7-5, 6-3 defeat of Estonian qualifier Kaia Kanepi.
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Photo: Australia’s Ash Barty into round 3 at Cincinnati (Photo by David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Both players had trouble holding serve with five breaks in the first set, it was, however, Barty that got the key break late in the set.
The second set again saw several breaks of serve with Kanepi breaking Barty one time and Barty breaking twice to seal the match, this came despite Barty’s first serve percentage dropping to 48% in the second set after serving at 67% in the first.
This follows on from Barty’s good performance last week in Montreal where she lost to Halep in the semifinals and also where she teamed up with Demi Schuurs to win the doubles title.
The Australian awaits the winner of the Simona Halep v Ajla Tomljanovic match to be played at 7 pm in Cincinnati.
With a likely third round match against Simona Halep, below is a video from when Barty met the world no. 1 in Montreal.
In other matches, we saw Ukraine’s Lesia Tsurenko defeat the defending champion from Spain, Garbiñe Muguruza 2-6, 6-4, 6-4. Tsurenko came back from 3-0 in the third set.
Russia’s Ekaterina Makarova easily defeated France’s Alize Cornet 6-2, 6-0. Belgium’s Elise Mertens defeated Sweden’s Rebecca Peterson 3-6, 6-2, 7-6(1). Current US Open Champion Sloane Stephens advanced with a 6-3, 6-2 win over German qualifier Tatjana Maria 6-3, 6-2. and Belarussian Aryna Sabalenka followed up her defeat of Johanna Konta by defeating former world no. 1 Karolina Pliskova 2-6, 6-3, 7-5.
Highlights from the Sloane Stephens v Tatjana Maria match are below.