Johanna Konta maintains strong start at Qatar Open as Caroline Wozniacki and Simona Halep win

Johanna Konta eased into the third round of the Qatar Open with a convincing 6-2 6-2 victory against Carla Suarez Navarro.

The world No 11, who defeated Bernarda Pera in the opening round on Tuesday, maintained her strong start in Doha with an assured display against the experienced Spaniard.

Konta was the dominant force against world No 29 Suarez Navarro and dropped only four games during a straight-sets success which lasted one hour and 21 minutes.

The British No 1 will next face two-time Grand Slam champion and world No 9 Angelique Kerber, who saw off Australia’s Sam Stosur 6-4 6-1.

World No 2 and Australian Open runner-up Simona Halep marked her return to competitive tennis with a 6-3 6-0 success against Ekaterina Makarova.

The Romanian, who lost to Caroline Wozniacki in an absorbing final at Melbourne Park last month, has been forced to delay her comeback to the WTA Tour with an ankle injury and Halep admitted she is assessing the problem match-by-match.

“The ankle is okay. The foot is still painful,” Halep, who will next face Latvia’s Anastasija Sevastova, said.

“I started already to talk too much about this injury, it’s just a problem with my foot. The doctor said that nothing can happen like worse to break something.

“But still when I will feel stronger pain, I think I will just think – I will double think about it and I will take the best decision.”

Wozniacki, who reached the quarter-finals in St Petersburg last week, hit 18 winners and converted six out of 12 break points to secure a 6-2 6-0 victory against Carina Witthoeft.

The Dane, part of a strong field in the Gulf which contains nine of the top 10 players in the world, will next face 14th seed Magdalena Rybarikova or Monica Niculescu.

Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova came back from a set down to prevail against Agnieszka Radwanska 6-7(3) 6-3 6-4.

“I have no idea, first of all, how I turned it around. I felt pretty exhausted,” Kvitova said.

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