Halep beats Stephens in straight sets at Citi Open

WASHINGTON (AP) Top-seeded Simona Halep defeated Sloane Stephens 7-6(3), 6-0 in her opening match at the Citi Open on Tuesday.

After beating Stephens, the 2015 Citi Open champion, Halep will face Mariana Duque-Marino in the second round. Stephens played her second match of the season after missing nearly a year with a stress fracture in her foot.

Halep, who reached the quarterfinals at Wimbledon, is ranked No. 2 behind Karolina Pliskova.

Ekaterina Makarova stopped Jamie Loeb 7-6(4), 6-3, and Monica Puig beat Louisa Chirico 6-4, 6-4. In night matches, second-seeded Kristina Mladenovic faces Tatjana Maria, Monica Niculescu faces Nao Hibino and Christina McHale faces Eugenie Bouchard.

On the men's side, top-seeded Dominic Thiem faces Henri Laaksonen and second-seeded Kei Nishikori faces Donald Young.

The Citi Open is a hard-court tuneup for the U.S. Open, which begins Aug. 28.

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