Konta through in Rome as Pliskova attacks umpire’s chair

Johanna Konta

British number one Konta is ranked 22nd in the world

Johanna Konta will face French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko in the third round of the Italian Open after beating Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei in straight sets.

The British number one needed 65 minutes to post an assertive 6-0 6-4 victory in the second round in Rome.

Konta, who beat Magdalena Rybarikova in the first round, had lost to Hsieh in her Roland Garros opener last year.

Czech Karolina Pliskova is likely to be fined after attacking the umpire’s chair with her racquet after defeat.

The former world number one had argued with the officials after she had a smash called out, when serving at 30-30 and five games all in the final set against Greece’s Maria Sakkari.

Television replays appeared to show that Pliskova’s shot had landed in, but line-call reviews on clay rely on physical marks, none could be found and Sakkari was awarded the point.

The world number 42 converted her break opportunity and went on to win 3-6 6-3 7-5.

After the final point, Pliskova exchanged a brief word with Sakkari at the net before leaving a hole in the umpire’s chair by repeatedly hitting it with her frame.

Earlier in the day, top seed Simona Halep beat Naomi Osaka in straight sets.

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The world number one from Romania needed less than an hour to beat her Japanese opponent 6-1 6-0 to reach the third round.

Halep, 26, was beaten by Elina Svitolina in last year’s final and needs to reach the quarter-finals this week to retain her number one ranking.

She will play Madison Keys for a place in the last eight after the American US Open runner-up beat Croatia’s Donna Vekic 7-6 (7-2) 7-6 (7-0).


Simona Halep lost in the quarter-finals of the Madrid Open last week to Karolina Pliskova

Halep needed to save four break points in her opening service game, but then reeled off 12 consecutive games to avenge her Indian Wells loss to eventual champion Osaka in March.

Osaka, 20, failed to convert any of her six break-point opportunities, hitting 29 unforced errors to Halep’s 14.

France’s Caroline Garcia also eased into the third round with a 6-3 6-4 win over Hungary’s Timea Babos having reached the semi-finals in Madrid last week.

The seventh seed will next play either American Sloane Stephens or Kaia Kanepi of Estonia.