Halep, Bencic, Azarenka Winners At Rainy Cincinnati; Osaka v Gauff Wed.
by Staff | August 18th, 2021, 9:25 am
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Rain played havoc with the Tuesday schedule, but several matches did get in at the Cincinnati Masters.

Simona Halep collected her first match win since May topping Magda Linette 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 to reach the second round.

“I’m really happy that I could win the match,” said Halep who did tweak her leg in the second set. “It’s always important to have victories when you come back from an injury. It was a tough injury for me. First time in my life when I had this kind of problem, and I didn’t really know how to manage it. But I’m happy to be back. I’m happy to play.

“Hopefully tomorrow I can be it again to perform at my highest level.”

The former No. 1 will have no chance to rest with Jessica Pegula up next today. The American gained revenge on Montreal champion Camila Giorgi trouncing the Italian 6-2, 6-2.

Defending champion and 2-time winner Victoria Azarenka cruised past grass standout Liudmila Samsonova 6-2, 6-3.

In a battle of former Grand Slam semifinalists, Karolina Muchova got the better of British No. 1 Johanna Konta 3-6, 7-6(5), 6-2. The moves Muchova into the second round where she’ll take on former US Open champion Bianca Andreescu in a tasty showdown.

Elena Rybakina, Ons Jabeur and Dayana Yastremska were also winners. Coco Gauff advanced as well over Su-Wei Hsieh. She’ll face Naomi Osaka today in a blockbuster second round.

“I definitely did learn a lot from both matches, actually,” Gauff said of splitting two meetings with Osaka “For me, the second match I learned that I can perform well under the pressure, and that I do have a lot more fun on the court when I try not to focus on the expectations of other people and myself, whereas I didn’t really find that I guess balance until that Australian Open match.

And in the nightcap, Caroline Garcia outlasted Sloane Stephens 7-6(7), 4-6, 6-4. Stephens blew a 6-3 first set breaker lead in the match that ended just past 2am ET.

Garbine Muguruza now gets Garcia tonight.

On Wednesday, Ash Barty, Karolina Pliskova, Iga Swiatek, Petra Kvitova and Barbora Krejcikova are also in action on a loaded day of second round play.


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