Tennis: Barty back to winning ways in Cincinnati; Struff stuns Tsitsipas

Barty celebrates match point against Maria Sharapova of Russia.
Barty celebrates match point against Maria Sharapova of Russia.PHOTO: AFP

CINCINNATI (DPA) - Former world number one Ashleigh Barty returned to winning ways with a 6-4, 6-1 win over Maria Sharapova for a last-16 place in Cincinnati on Wednesday (Aug 24).

The 23-year-old Australian lost her top ranking with an early exit in Montreal last week, and was overtaken by Naomi Osaka, who plays Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus later.

In the men's draw, third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas was stunned by Jan Lennard-Struff as the German won 6-4, 6-7 (5-7), 7-6 (8-6), despite his Greek opposite saving three match points.

Struff will play Daniil Medvedev next after the Russian conquered France's Benoit Paire 7-6 (7-2), 6-1.

Japan's Yoshihito Nishioka claimed his first ever win over a top-10 player as he upset his compatriot Kei Nishikori 7-6 (7-2), 6-4 to enter the last-16 of the Masters 1000 tournament.

Barty, who is the top seed in Ohio, will move on to face Anett Kontaveit after the Estonian dispatched Poland's Iga Swiatek 6-4, 7-6 (7-2).

Wimbledon champion Simona Halep also advanced with a battling 3-6, 7-5, 6-4 victory over Russian Ekaterina Alexandrova.

Meanwhile, world number three Karolina Pliskova claimed a dominant 6-1, 6-3 win over China's Yafan Wang and will meet Sweden's Rebecca Peterson in the third round.

Croatia's Donna Vekic booked a match with Venus Williams next after her 6-2, 7-5 win over former world number one Victoria Azarenka, while Elina Svitolina defeated Elise Mertens of Belgium 6-4, 6-1.