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.