Dubai, Miami, now Rome. Simona Halep withdrew from the Italian Open today because of an abdominal injury. Her withdrawal gives Carla Suarez Navarro a walkover in the third round. The Romanian star defeated Madison Keys 5-7, 6-0, 6-1 in the second round. Halep's injuries are now spiraling into the "concern" zone.
Flavia Pennetta kept Italian hopes alive with a three-set win over Belinda Bencic in a very entertaining match. Francesca Schiavone beat Garbine Muguruza and Sara Errani beat Ekaterina Makarova. Camila Giorgi, however, was defeated by qualifier Christina McHale.
Svetlana Kuznetsova retired in the second set of her match against Jelena Jankovic, Varvara Lepchenko beat countrywoman Sloane Stephens, and top seed Serena Williams--whose participation was in question--defeated Andrea Petkovic 6-2, 6-2. Maria Sharapova had to work for it, but she defeated qualifier Monica Puig in straight sets.