Top-seeded Halep beats Konjuh in St. Petersburg

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)

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 in the quarterfinals. The Russian wild-card entry defeated eighth-seeded Daria Kasatkina 7-6 (4), 6-2.

Playing in her home city for the first time, third-seeded veteran Svetlana Kuznetsova swept aside Moscow-born Australian Daria Gavrilova, winning 6-1, 6-3.

That sets up a quarterfinal against Yulia Putintseva, who earlier beat Annika Beck 6-4, 6-0.

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

Vesnina will face Alize Cornet in the second round.