Halep advances as rain washes out Citi Open

Top seed Simona Halep won through to the second round of the Citi Open before rain ended play prematurely in Washington.

World number two Halep opened her campaign with a 7-6 (7-3) 6-0 win over 2015 champion Sloane Stephens on Tuesday.

Stephens battled bravely in her first hardcourt tournament since the Olympic Games in Rio due to a foot injury but 48 unforced errors cost the American dearly.

Next up for Halep is Mariana Duque-Marino for a spot in the quarter-finals.

Only three other matches were completed before rain wreaked havoc in the American capital.

Ekaterina Makarova prevailed 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 against Jamie Loeb, Monica Puig accounted for Louisa Chirico 6-4 6-4 and Heather Watson lost 7-6 (7-4) 7-6 (7-3) to Patricia Maria Tig.

Among the players unable to take to the court were Eugenie Bouchard (against Christina McHale), Sabine Lisicki (versus Valentini Grammatikopoulou) and Kristina Mladenovic (against Tatjana Maria).

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