Australia’s Ashleigh Barty stunned world No. 1 Simona Halep in straight sets in the second round of the Sydney International on Wednesday.
Barty converted four of her seven break chances and struck 26 winners in the 6-4, 6-4 victory, compared to just nine winners by the top-seeded Romanian.
It wasn’t the day’s only upset. Qualifier Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan beat No. 4 seed Sloane Stephens, rallying from a set and a break down for a 3-6, 7-6 (4), 6-0 victory.
Stephens served for the match at 5-4 in the second set, but her forehand into the net gave Putintseva the break and the momentum she needed to seize control of the two-hour, three-minute match. She lost only nine points in the decisive set.
Also advancing to the quarterfinals were fifth-seeded Czech Petra Kvitova and No. 10 seed Elise Mertens of Belgium.
No. 6 seed Alize Cornet of France steamrolled to a 6-3, 6-0 second-round victory against countrywoman Pauline Parmentier in just 65 minutes Wednesday in Hobart, Australia.
Parmentier dropped the first 10 points of the match, including a love break in which she struck four consecutive forehand errors. Cornet saved the only break point she faced and took advantage of 35 unforced errors by Parmentier, who had only seven winners in the match.
Cornet’s quarterfinals opponent is Belgium’s Greet Minnen, who rallied from 3-5 down in the deciding set to defeat Poland’s Magda Linette 6-1, 4-6, 7-6 (3).
American Sofia Kenin overcame deficits in both sets to reach the final eight with a 7-6 (6), 6-3 win over Ons Jabeur of Tunisia.
Others advancing included seventh-seeded Belgian Kirsten Flipkens, Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic, Romania’s Irina Begu and Ukrainian teenager Dayana Yastremska.
—Field Level Media