Halep: I am fighting well

Following her fourth round win over Sabine Lisicki, Simona Halep indicated that her fighting spirit is firing on all cylinders at the US Open.

The Romanian came back from a set down to win by two sets to one and reach her first ever quarter-final at Flushing Meadows.

"I'm really happy that I could win this match," the 23-year-old told wtatennis.com.

"It was a tough one, and I expected a tough match. I knew she has ups and downs, but she's strong, so I had to stay there and stay focused. I didn't play my best, but I still played well enough to win it. I was fighting really well."

Standing in the way of Halep's third grand slam semi-final appearance is 20th seed Victoria Azarenka. The two-time grand slam winner has played Halep twice, winning comfortably in straight sets on both occasions. However, that was in 2012 and the second seed believes she is a much more complete player now.

"I'm a different player since then,” insisted Halep.

"I'm stronger mentally. I'm stronger physically. I believe that I can win it. So I just have to stay positive, try everything, try to do my game, be aggressive and play fast. 

"I know that she will fight because she's a big fighter, but it's the quarterfinals. We're both tired, but I just have to work hard and try to take my chances when I get them."

Meanwhile, Azarenka heaped praise on Halep, happily giving her the favourite tag for the match. 

"I think her game speaks for itself," said the Belarusian.

"She's very solid from the baseline. She kind of has all the shots. For a player who's not so tall, she has a pretty good serve. She has a lot of weapons.

"She's improved so much since the last time we played. She's definitely a favourite – she's been in the top three for a while, winning big matches. I have to focus on my game and be aggressive, be dominant."