TORONTO (Reuters) - Second seed Simona Halep struggled to overcome a predictably tough examination from Angelique Kerber before prevailing 6-3 5-7 6-4 in third-round action at the Rogers Cup in Toronto on Thursday.
Both players found it difficult to hold serve, with the world number three Halep breaking the 11th ranked German’s delivery nine times, while the Romanian was broken eight times herself.
But Halep, runner-up at the French Open last year, did just enough to eliminate the 13th seed and advance to the quarter-finals.
It was a bad day for German players, with Kerber’s compatriots Sabine Lisicki and Carina Witthoeft also shown the exit door.
The ever-improving Swiss teenager Belinda Bencic beat Lisicki 6-1 1-6 7-3(3) in a battle between unseeded players that lasted more than two hours.
Ukrainian Lesia Tsurenko beat Witthoeft 6-3 6-4, while Italian Roberta Vinci took 78 minutes to dispose of Russian Daria Gavrilova by the same score.
Vinci’s reward is a probable quarter-final against top seed Serena Williams, who was scheduled for a night match against German Andrea Petkovic.
Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Ian Chadband