DOHA: Australian Open champion Caroline Wozniacki swatted aside German Carina Witthoeft at the Qatar Open on Wednesday while an equally dominant Simona Halep joined the world number one in the third round making short work of Ekaterina Makarova. Wozniacki, who won 6-2 6-0, struck 18 winners and claimed six out of 12 break points to progress and takes on 14th seed Magdalena Rybarikova or Monica Niculescu next. Top seed Wozniacki, coming into the event on the back of a quarter-final finish at the St Petersburg Ladies Trophy, was broken once early in the opening set but recovered quickly to win the match in just under an hour. Halep, playing in her first tournament since her defeat by Wozniacki in the Australian Open final last month, eased past Russia’s Makarova 6-3 6-0 in an hour and 11 minutes. The Romanian second seed cruised to a one-set lead and saved four breakpoints in the first game of the second set to halt a comeback attempt by her Russian opponent. She then reeled off the next five games in a row to prevail. Halep faces Anastasija Sevastova in the next round after the Latvian beat Naomi Osaka 6-4 6-1. Johanna Konta also progressed to the round of 16 with a 6-2 6-2 win over Carla Suarez Navarro. Double Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova came back from a set down to move past Agnieszka Radwanska 6-7(3) 6-3 6-4. Published in Daily Times, February 15th 2018.