Simona Halep races past Naomi Osaka in Rome, Caroline Wozniacki advances
World number one Simona Halep produced a ruthless display to see off Japan's Naomi Osaka 6-1 6-0 in the second round of the Italian Open on Wednesday.
Romanian Halep was forced to save four break points in her opening service game for 1-1 but then went on to claim 12 consecutive games to avenge her Indian Wells loss to eventual champion Osaka in March.
The 20-year-old Osaka failed to convert any of her six break-point opportunities before conceding the match in just under an hour.
Japan's Naomi Osaka reacts during her match against Romania's Simona Halep at Rome's WTA Tennis Open tournament at the Foro Italico, on May 16, 2018 in RomeGetty Images
"I just tried to build my points, to build a little bit of space and open the court, and tried to make winners," Halep said.
"It's tough to make winners on this court, for me, but it's good when I can build the point. I just want to play like today."
Halep will next meet American Madison Keys, who clinched a 7-6(2) 7-6(0) win over Croatian qualifier Donna Vekic.
Simona Halep of Romania in action against Naomi Osaka of Japan during day four of the Internazionali BNL d'Italia 2018 tennis at Foro Italico on May 16, 2018 in Rome, ItalyGetty Images
Second seed Caroline Wozniacki began her campaign with a comfortable 6-1 6-4 victory over Belgian Alison van Uytvanck.
The 27-year-old Dane, chasing her first claycourt title since 2011, will face 15th seed Anastasija Sevastova for a place in the quarter-finals.
A decade after they last met in Rome, Maria Sharapova once again did enough to secure a victory over Dominika Cibulkova in three sets.
Former world number one Sharapova struck 41 winners as she rallied back from a set down to edge her Slovakian opponent 3-6 6-4 6-2 in a thrilling 2-1/2 hour contest.