The WTA circuit is gathering momentum on the North American outdoor hard swing as this week the second Premier 5 event of the summer season is being held in Cincinnati. The women's draw is quite interesting and the stakes are as high as possible before entering the 2017 Us Open Tennis Championships. Yesterday, the top seeded players entered the action in the second round and there was so little space for upsets. Simona Halep (2 WTA) and Johanna Konta (7 WTA) made no mistakes at their debut, heading to what seems to be an inevitable collision in the quarterfinals.

Both had a slow, hesitant start and they could use a deep run at Western & Southern Open in Ohio.

Simona Halep breezed past Taylor Townsend

As the second seed in Cincinnati, the 25-year-old Romanian tennis star received a bye for the round of 64. The next phase put Taylor Townsend (134 WTA) on the other side of the net. Surviving the qualifying stages and a first round in the main draw, the 21-year-old American player had a solid start over Halep being the aggressor for the first part of the opening set. But, once Halep settled in and cut off the unforced errors from her game, things suddenly change. Despite being 2-4 down in the set, the 2015 Cincinnati runner-up bounced back in a hurry to win four games in a row thus sealing the set by 6-4.

The second act was all about Halep and her incredible shot-making. Despite some huge winners from Townsend's side, it all went down in Halep's pocket as she won the next set by 6-1, booking a spot in the round of 16 where Roberta Vinci or Anastasija Sevastova will emerge.

Johanna Konta knocked down Kiki Bertens

The No. 1 Brit took on the Dutch No.

1 in what turned out to be a pretty much one-sided encounter with 2017 Wimbledon semifinalist Johanna Konta in total control. The seventh seed in Cincinnati, Konta won in two symmetrical sets 6-3 6-3. At 26-years-old, Konta is showing some great signs of maturity when it comes to her tennis. In the round of 16, she will have a tough test as Alize Cornet or Dominika Cibulkova will be the villain.

If she reaches the last eight stages, Konta may face Simona Halep who is having another world No. 1 bid this week. So far, in head to head stats, Konta leads Halep by 3-1 although the Romanian has never won a WTA level rubber against Konta. Her only success over the Brit occurred earlier this year in a Davis Cup rubber.

Johanna Konta is among those WTA players expected to produce something special at the 2017 US Open. So far, her best result in New York was reaching the round of 16 in consecutive years (2015, 2016). Maybe she will go at least one step further this year.