Former World No. 1 Simona Halep exited the 2022 Italian Open in the second round after falling to a straight-sets defeat against Danielle Collins.
Off the field, four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka has left her current agency IMG to start her own venture named EVOLVE.
Reigning Roland Garros champion Barbora Krejcikova is set to miss yet another tournament, as the Czech has pulled out of the upcoming Strasbourg Open. Meanwhile, top-10 players Aryna Sabalenka and Danielle Collins will headline the Libema Open, to be held from 4-12 June.
In the men’s event at the Italian Open, three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka has set up an exciting showdown against World No. 1 Novak Djokovic.
Here’s a round-up of the day’s news:
Simona Halep goes down to Danielle Collins in Italian Open
2022 Australian Open finalist Danielle Collins won 7-6 (1), 6-3 against Simona Halep in the second round of the Italian Open. The Romanian was the favorite to win the contest, but she fell short this time around.
Halep made it to the quarterfinals in Madrid last week, while Collins lost 6-1, 6-1 to Bianca Andreescu in the Round of 32. But the American stepped up her game considerably to oust the two-time Grand Slam champion.
Naomi Osaka starts her own sports agency
Former World No. 1 Naomi Osaka has taken a huge step in her journey as a businesswoman by starting her own agency, EVOLVE. Her contract di lei with her di lei former agency IMG expired at the end of 2021 and when negotiations were on for a renewal, the terms didn’t seem too appealing to her.
Osaka left IMG with her agent Stuart Duguid. The two of them have equity stakes in the new firm and there are no outside investors as of now.
Barbora Krejcikova ruled out of 2022 Strasbourg Open
World No. 2 Barbora Krejcikova has pulled out of next week’s Strasbourg Open. She’s still recovering from an elbow injury and hasn’t played in a tournament since the Qatar Open in February. The Czech is the defending champion in singles and doubles at Roland Garros.
At this point, it remains uncertain if Krejcikova will even compete at the French Open. Even if she does, she will enter the tournament without a single match on clay under her belt, which makes her chances of a successful title defense quite slim.
Aryna Sabalenka and Danielle Collins lead the field at Libema Open
Top-10 players Aryna Sabalenka and Danielle Collins, along with top-20 players Belinda Bencic, Elena Rybakina, and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, headline the 2022 Libema Open field.
The grasscourt tournament will be held from June 4-12. It’s one of the many tournaments scheduled in the lead-up to Wimbledon. The full list of players competing in the 2022 edition can be accessed here.
Stan Wawrinka and Novak Djokovic set for battle in 2022 Italian Open
Stan Wawrinka’s comeback has finally gathered some momentum. He returned to action in March after being on the sidelines for more than a year. After losing in the first round of his first couple of tournaments, he finally won his first match of the season at the Italian Open by defeating Reilly Opelka in the opening round.
Wawrinka then earned a hard-fought 7-6 (8), 3-6, 6-4 win over Laslo Djere in the second round to set up a third-round clash against World No. 1 Novak Djokovic.
This will be their first encounter since the 2019 US Open, which was won by the Swiss following the 20-time Grand Slam champion’s retirement in the third set.
Their last completed match was the final of the 2016 US Open, which was also won by Wawrinka. However, Djokovic still leads 19-6 in the head-to-head.