Halep into 3rd round at Wuhan Open

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WUHAN, China — Former French Open finalist Simona Halep took less than 70 minutes to reach the third round of the Wuhan Open, advancing Monday when fellow Romanian Irina-Camelia Begu retired in the second set of their second-round match.

The No. 4-seeded Halep was leading 6-3, 2-0 when Begu retired with a back injury amid warm and humid conditions. Halep, who skipped the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo last week because of a hamstring strain, had a first-round bye at Wuhan.

In first-round matches, 2014 champion Petra Kvitova opened with a 6-1, 6-3 win over Jelena Ostapenko and set up a meeting with Elina Svitolina, who rallied from a break down in the third set to beat Bethanie Mattek-Sands 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.

“This was the fourth time we’ve played this season and I’m glad now it’s 2-2,” Kvitova said. “I know how difficult it can be to play her and how dangerous she is.”

No. 10-seeded Dominika Cibulkova had a 6-2, 2-6, 6-3 win over Alize Cornet and Yulia Putintseva was leading 6-1, 4-1 when Anastasija Sevastova retired from their match.

Johanna Konta, the 11th seed, had a 6-1, 6-2 win over Annika Beck, and Madison Brengle advanced after leading 6-3, 2-1 when British qualifier Heather Watson retired because of a stomach complaint.

Top-seeded Angelique Kerber is in action on Tuesday against Kristina Mladenovic, who had a 7-6 (5), 6-3 first-round win over CoCo Vandeweghe.

Serena Williams, who was replaced by Kerber at No. 1 in the rankings with her run to the U.S. Open title, has withdrawn from the tournaments in Wuhan and Beijing because of an injured right shoulder.