Published: Thu, March 15, 2018
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

Simona Halep: is 2018 her shot at a second Indian Wells title?

Simona Halep: is 2018 her shot at a second Indian Wells title?

World No 1 Simona Halep and Venus Williams punched their tickets to the Indian Wells quarter-finals, while Caroline Wozniacki suffered another exit at the hands of Russia's Daria Kasatkina.

Halep needed just 76 minutes on the main stadium court to dispatch her practice partner Wang as she won 64 percent of her first-serve points and broke Wang's serve seven times.

While Halep overcame a sluggish start to beat Wang Qiang 7-5 6-1, Australian Open champion Wozniacki fell to the same player who knocked her out of last month's St. Petersburg Ladies Open.

Simona Halep of Romania serves against Qiang Wang of China during Day 9 of BNP Paribas Open on March 13, 2018 in Indian Wells, California.

Halep is the only former Indian Wells victor left in the women's draw after World No.20 Daria Kasatkina upset World No.2 Caroline Wozniacki 6-4, 7-5.

Halep marched back onto the court following some words of wisdom from coach Darren Cahill, but the favourite was up against it at 3-1 down.

Halep said she is happy with the way she is playing at this stage in the tournament.

Although Halep's own performance was far from faultless, particularly in the first set, the Romanian triumphed 7-5 6-1 and will now face Petra Martic in the last eight.

"It was really important, because he just told me what I have to do". And also, you know, I have many things to learn from them.

In other women's matches, eighth seeded Venus Williams survived a stern test from Latvia's Anastasija Sevastova to win 7-6 (8/6), 6-4 and fifth-seeded Karolina Pliskova beat Amanda Anisimova of the US 6-1, 7-6 (7/2).

Wang came into the match having recorded impressive wins over Timea Bacsinszky, Elise Mertens and Kristina Mladenovic, but made far too many unforced errors on Tuesday. The Croatian tennis player's run at Indian Wells has featured a win over sixth seeded Jelena Ostapenko.

Meanwhile, Williams survived a hard fourth round test to beat Sevastova.

Williams next faces Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain who rolled past Danielle Collins 6-2, 6-4.

The 26-year-old is yet to win a Grand Slam title but underlined her resilience in testing circumstances to recover from a break deficit in the final set and set up a meeting with either world No 5 Karolina Pliskova or Japan's Naomi Osaka.

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