Halep, Wozniacki impress in Eastbourne, Stephens out

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Tuesday was a super busy day at the Nature Valley International in Eastbourne with plenty of first-round and second-round matches, while some players even had to play two singles matches one after the other.

Sixth seed Simona Halep raced into the third round with a 6-2 6-0 victory over Hsieh Su-Wei in just 53 minutes. After saving a break point in her first service game, Halep confidently marched through the rest of the match, serving at 71% and making most of her opponent’s drop shots unsuccessful. The Romanian is also in the doubles draw this time, partnered with compatriot Raluca Olaru, and their first-round upset of top seeds Gabriela Dabrowski and Xu Yifan really helped the former singles No.1 get into the groove on grass.

Caroline Wozniacki, seeded 11th, beat Andrea Petkovic 6-4 6-4 in a high-quality second-round match that included a total of 43 winners to just 14 unforced errors, with the winner’s differential being +22 and her opponent’s +7.

Jelena Ostapenko recorded her biggest victory of the season by winning a lopsided encounter with seventh seed Sloane Stephens, 1-6 6-0 6-3 in the second round. The Latvian hit as many as 14 double faults, eight of which came in the first set, while her American opponent hit just two.

The highest seed to fall in Eastbourne on Tuesday was No.5 Elina Svitolina, whose 6-3 7-6(3) second-round loss to Alize Cornet is her sixth defeat in her last seven matches. The last time the Ukrainian won multiple matches in a row was her run to the semifinals of Indian Wells in March.

Tenth seed Belinda Bencic lost to Ekaterina Alexandrova 6-7(6) 6-2 6-3 in the second round, but we have to take into account that the Swiss played her first-round match against Veronika Kudermetova earlier on Tuesday, just two days after playing the final of the Mallorca Open.

Mallorca Open champion Sofia Kenin fell to qualifier Samantha Stosur 6-2 6-3 in the first round, while Stosur later in the day lost to fourth seed Angelique Kerber 6-4 6-4.

All this and more our Jimmie48 captured in photos.

Visit Women’s Tennis Blog tomorrow as we’ll have more photos from Eastbourne. Note that Wednesday’s schedule includes a repeat of last year’s final — a third-round match-up between Caroline Wozniacki and Aryna Sabalenka.

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