No. 4 Simona Halep rallies to avoid upset in Ohio

Simona Halep is a Romania returns a shot to Jennifer Brady of the US during round 2 of the Rogers Cup Women's tennis tournament in Toronto, Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2019. (Mark Blinch/The Canadian Press via AP)

MASON, Ohio (AP) Simona Halep rallied after dropping the first set to defeat Ekaterina Alexandrova 3-6, 7-5, 6-4 Wednesday in the second round of the Western & Southern Open.

The Wimbledon champion fought off two break points in the eighth game of the third set and then broke Alexandrova to serve for the match.

Elina Svitolina, a Wimbledon semifinalist, easily reached the third round with a 6-4, 6-1 win over Elise Mertens.

On the men's side, sixth-seeded Kei Nishikori lost to Yoshihito Nishioka 7-6 (2), 6-4.

Nishikori became the seventh seeded man and the 15th out of 32 seeds in the men's and women's draws to either lose or withdraw during the first two rounds. That includes No. 2-ranked Rafael Nadal (fatigue) and No. 8 Serena Williams (back injury).

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Updated August 14, 2019

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