WUHAN (AFP) – World number two Simona Halep suffered a shock exit Tuesday in her first match at the $2.4 million WTA Wuhan Open, becoming the latest seed to fall in the tournament.
Halep went crashing out at the hands of Spaniard Garbine Muguruza on a day when four other top players also tumbled.
Tenth-seeded Serb Jelena Jankovic, 11th-seeded Italian Sara Errani, 13th seed Russian Ekaterina Makarova and 16th seed German Andrea Petkovic all fell in the second round.
Just a handful of the sixteen seeds are left in the tournament midway through the second round, with top seed Serena Williams playing her first match later Tuesday.
Eighth seed Caroline Wozniacki suffered a scare in her match against Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro, before winning at the tie break in the final set.
Romanian Halep has been in fine form in recent months, rising from 11th in the WTA rankings at the start of the year, and being named the second seed at Wuhan.
The 22-year-old opened brightly, taking the first set 6-2, but lost the final two 6-2, 6-3 as Muguruza, who is ranked at 22 by the WTA, became dominant.
The result brought Halep back down to earth after celebrating being named the third player to make the season finale, next month’s WTA Championships in Singapore which will feature the top eight women’s players.
Elsewhere at Wuhan Tuesday, Errani crashed out to American Alison Riske 6-4, 6-4, Makarova fell to Timea Bacsinszky of Switzerland 6-4, 6-1, and Petkovic was defeated by Czech player Karolina Pliskova 6-4, 6-4.