WTA big names through in Rome

It was a good day for the top seeds in Rome as Simona Halep, Caroline Wozniacki and Elina Svitolina all enjoyed victories at the Italian Open.

Top seed Halep advanced to the quarter-finals of the clay court event without hitting a ball after Madison Keys was forced to withdraw due to a rib injury.

“I am really sorry I have to withdraw from this year’s Internazionali BNL d’Italia,” read the American’s statement.

“I felt my rib in my match yesterday and after trying to warm up this morning it will still painful. I look forward to returning to this great event next year and seeing all my fans in Rome.”

Halep will face Caroline Garcia in the last wight. The seventh seed battled past the talented Sloane Stephens 6-1, 7-6(7), grabbing the win on her second match point.

Second seed Wozniacki was forced to work hard for her 6-2, 5-7, 6-3 win over Anastasija Sevastova. Up 5-4 in the second set, the Australian Open champion looked certain to wrap things up, but the Latvian battled back to win three games in row and force a final set.

Meanwhile, former world number one Maria Sharapova continued to impress on clay, beating Daria Gavrilova 6-3, 6-4. The victory sees the Russian reach her first WTA Premier Mandatory quarter-final since 2015, where she faces the powerful Jelena Ostapenko.

Earlier in the day, the fifth seed fought back from a set down to defeat Johanna Konta 2-6, 6-3, 6-4.

Similarly, fourth seed Elina Svitolina bounced back from a disastrous opening set to overcome Daria Kasatkina 0-6, 6-3, 6-4 and keep her title defence alive.