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Top seed Halep eases into Italian Open third round

Romanian Simona Halep has finished runner-up twice in Rome.
Romanian Simona Halep has finished runner-up twice in Rome. Clive Brunskill POOL/AFP
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Rome (AFP)

Top seed Simona Halep eased into the Italian Open third round on Wednesday with a straight sets win over Jasmine Paolini of Italy.

World number two Halep came through 6-3, 6-4 against the 99th-ranked home hope on clay in Rome's Foro Italico.

The 28-year-old Romanian, who skipped the US Open because of the coronavirus pandemic, next meets either American Amanda Anisimova or Dayana Yastremska of the Ukraine.

Former French Open winner Halep has twice finished runner-up in Rome, losing in 2017 and 2018 to Ukraine's Elina Svitolina.

Swiss sixth seed Belinda Bencic fell 6-3, 6-1 in her second round match to Montenegro's 86th ranked Danka Kovinic.

Belgian Elise Mertens, the 11th seed, saw off Poland's Pole Magda Linette 6-2, 6-4 in the final warm-up tournament before the French Open.

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