Halep, Williams through to last eight

Halep, Williams through to last eight

World No 1 and former champion Simona Halep cruised past Wang Qiang 7-5 6-1 to reach the quarter-finals of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells on Tuesday.

The No.8 seed has yet to drop a set as she backed her first victory over Serena since 2014 with a 7-6 6-4 win over No.21 Anastasija Sevastova, bidding for sixth Top 10 win of career, who posted her best result here this year.

The 26-year-old Romanian showed no sign of the foot injury that forced her to withdraw from the Qatar Total Open in Doha last month and is well positioned to make a run at reclaiming the Indian Wells title she won in 2015.

The 20-year-old Kasatkina, who has beaten all four reigning Grand Slam champions in the past year, continued her giant-killing form with a 6-4, 7-5 shock victory over world No. 2 Wozniacki. "I was playing aggressive and she didn't have time to play her game", Pliskova said in the post-match interview. "And then I just got the idea of what I have to do to play against her, and it was much easier".

"She outsmarted me today", Wozniacki said.

"It was a quick turnaround from last night when it feels like, 'Hey, this is a final to you're only in the fourth round, '" Williams said on court.

If Wang was high on confidence following her performances earlier in the tournament, her morale was surely raised further as she twice responded immediately to falling a break down in set one. "So quite a simple rule".

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Pliskova faces a quarterfinal against Naomi Osaka, who beat Maria Sakkari of Greece 6-1, 5-7, 6-1. I just want to have the plan what I have to do. "I did exactly what he said after that".

Halep advances to the quarter-finals where she will face unseeded Petra Martic of Croatia who beat Czech Marketa Vondrousova 6-3, 7-6 (7/4).

"I love the way that they are motivated and they are still playing at this age, Serena with the kid", Halep said. I think this will change a little bit in the future, but for sure the game is good and not really any weakness.

Williams, who is the oldest female player in the draw at 37, rallied back in the second set to book her spot in the quarter-finals.

American teenager Amanda Anisimova's run of success ended in a 6-1, 7-6 (2) loss to No. 5 seed Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic.

She next faces either wild card Danielle Collins or world number 27 Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain.

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