Simona Halep of Romania returns the ball to Ana Konjuh of Croatia during the St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy 2017 tennis tournament match in St.Petersburg, Russia, Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017. (AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky)
Dmitri Lovetsky
February 01, 2017

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) Top-seeded Simona Halep won her first match since an opening-round exit at the Australian Open, beating Ana Konjuh 6-4, 7-6 (2) Wednesday at the St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy.

The fourth-ranked Romanian, who was broken three times, will next face Natalia Vikhlyantseva. The Russian wild-card entry defeated eighth-seeded Daria Kasatkina 7-6 (4), 6-2.

Also, fifth-seeded Elena Vesnina of Russia beat Olympic doubles partner Ekaterina Makarova 6-3, 6-1. Vesnina and Makarova won a gold medal in Rio de Janeiro.

Vesnina will face Alize Cornet in the second round.

Yulia Putintseva advanced to the quarterfinals by beating Annika Beck 6-4, 6-0. She will next face either third-seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova or Daria Gavrilova.

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