Published: Fri, May 18, 2018
Sport | By Cameron Gross

Simona Halep into QFs in Rome as Keys retires

Simona Halep into QFs in Rome as Keys retires

Today it was all about Halep, who saved all six break points she faced and took charge on the return as well, winning nearly 70% of the points in Osaka's games to notch six breaks from seven opportunities, dominating from start to finish and reaching the third round in style.

"He was really serving big and I had some mistakes with the return", Nadal said.

"In Melbourne, I played against [Osaka], and it was also a very good match for me", Halep said to the media, after the match.

In the men's event, home hope Fabio Fognini reached the quarter-finals for the first time with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Peter Gojowiczyk. Elsewhere, seventh seed Caroline Garcia defeated Timea Babos 6-3, 6-4.

Simona Halep has retained her world number one ranking without stepping on court on Thursday after Madison Keys' withdrawal at the Internazionali d'Italia saw her reach the quarter-finals.

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Halep needed to reach the quarterfinals and progress further than No. 2 Caroline Wozniacki to hold onto the top spot, and she accomplished the first task.

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.

Jelena Ostapenko, who is preparing to defend her title at Roland Garros, rallied past Johanna Konta 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 and will meet either three-time Rome champion Maria Sharapova or Daria Gavrilova.

Last year, Halep rolled her ankle in the final and lost a lead and the championship to Elina Svitolina.

Halep will face the victor of the match between Sloane Stephens and Caroline Garcia in the last eight. Later in the day, the 13th seed battled past Donna Vekic 7-6 (2), 7-6 (0) in a tense affair. She'll next face former No. 1 Angelique Kerber , who routed Maria Sakkari of Greece 6-1, 6-1.

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