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Osaka into 3rd round as Italian Open resumes after washout

Osaka into 3rd round as Italian Open resumes after washout

Rome: World number one Naomi Osaka eased into the third round of the WTA and ATP Italian Open on Thursday with a straight sets win over Dominika Cibulkova under the sunshine in Rome after the previous day's play was washed out.

The 21-year-old Osaka was first up after wintery conditions in the Italian capital wiped out an entire day's play with competitors now having to play two matches on Thursday.

The two-time Grand Slam winner won through 6-3, 6-3 in 1hr 42min for her fourth win in as many games against the 33rd-ranked Slovak who she also beat last week in Madrid.

The Japanese star fought back after losing her serve early in the first set, saving four break points in the second, hitting 44 winners and 12 aces, despite 25 unforced errors.

Osaka, who broke through by winning the US Open and Australian Open titles last year, reaches the third round in Rome for the first time in three appearances.

But she needs to make the quarter-finals at least if she wants to hold her world number one ranking.

Next up for the Japanese player on the red clay of the Foro Italico is either Germany's Julia Goerges or Romania's Mihaela Buzarnescu later on Thursday for a place in the quarter-finals.

Former French Open winner Garbine Muguruza needed three sets to get past American Danielle Collins 6-4, 4-6, 6-2.

The Spanish former world number one, now ranked 19th, next plays Belarus Victoria Azarenka who ousted two-time defending champion Elina Svitolina in the second round.

Sixth seed Kiki Bertens also needed three sets to get past American Amanda Anisimova 6-2, 4-6, 7-5, with France's Kristina Mladenovic seeing off Swiss Belinda Bencic 6-2, 2-6, 6-1 to set up a meeting with eighth-seed Ashleigh Barty of Australia.

Britain's Johanna Konta brushed aside former champion Venus Williams to reach the quarter-finals of the Italian Open on Thursday.

Konta had earlier beat another American Sloane Stephens 6-7 (3/7), 6-4, 6-1 as competitors play two games to make up for Wednesday's rain washout.

Williams, the 1999 Rome winner, was handed a third round ticket after sister Serena pulled out with a knee injury before they were due to meet.

World number three Roger Federer eased into the third round of the WTA and ATP Italian Open on Thursday with a straight sets win over Portugal's Joao Sousa.

Federer won through 6-4, 6-3 against the 72nd-ranked Sousa and will play Croatian 13th seed Borna Coric later in the day for a place in the quarter-finals after rain delays wiped out play on Wednesday.

Federer, a four-time finalist in Rome, returns to Italy after skipping the clay season for the last two years as he concentrated on his grass game.

Defending champion Rafael Nadal lost just one game as he crushed France's Jeremy Chardy in straight sets to advance to the third round of the Italian Open on Thursday.

The eight-time Rome champion won 6-0, 6-1 and next meets Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili, the 14th seed, later in the day for a place in the quarter-finals after rain delays wiped out play on Wednesday in the joint ATP and WTA tournament.

Britain's Johanna Konta brushed aside former champion Venus Williams to reach the quarter-finals of the Italian Open on Thursday.

Top seed Novak Djokovic booked his ticket to the third round of the WTA and ATP Italian Open on Thursday with a straight sets win over Canadian Denis Shapovalov.

The Serbian world number one — the Madrid Open winner last weekend — won the second round match 6-1, 6-3 in 66 minutes.

Djokovic, 31, a four-time Italian Open winner, next plays either German Philipp Kohlschreiber or Italy's Marco Cecchinato for a place in the quarter-finals.

Agencies

Agencies

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