Simona Halep withdraws from Cincinnati as Ashleigh Barty beats Heather Watson

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 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Simona Halep’s participation in the US Open is in doubt after she withdrew from her third-round match against Jessica Pegula at the Western and Southern Open.

The former Wimbledon champion, a three-time finalist in Cincinnati, underwent a scan on the leg injury she suffered during her second-round victory against Magda Linette which revealed a small tear in her right adductor.

Romanian Halep faces a race against time to be ready for Flushing Meadows, which begins in 12 days.

A month after beating her on the grass at Wimbledon, Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur picked up another win over Poland’s Iga Swiatek, a 6-3 6-3 victory in just 78 minutes.

World number one Ashleigh Barty started her campaign with victory over Great Britain’s Heather Watson.

It was a straightforward victory for the Australian, winning 6-4 7-6 in an hour and 46 minutes.

Naomi Osaka fought back from a set and a break down to beat American teenager Coco Gauff and will meet wildcard Jil Teichmann in the round of 16.

Former world number one Angelique Kerber picked up a notable win over Elina Svitolina.

The German won 7-5 2-6 6-4 after Svitolina had won their previous seven matches.

There was a surprise late in the day when third seed Aryna Sabalenka was beaten 5-7 6-2 7-6 (4) by Spain’s Paula Badosa.

Victoria Azarenka secured a straight-sets victory over Alison Riske but 13th seed Jennifer Brady had to retire hurt with Jelena Ostapenko progressing instead.

Petra Kvitova, ranked 11th for the tournament, won 6-2 6-4 against Veronika Kudermetova.

Seeded players Elise Mertens and Bianca Andreescu fell to defeats to Elena Rybakina and Karolina Muchova respectively.

PA

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