Halep and Williams through, Wozniacki out

Simona Halep sailed through to the quarter-finals of Indian Wells on Wednesday with an easy win over China’s Wang Qiang.

Halep started slowly and was trailing 5-4 in the opener before a pep talk from her coach saw her turn things around, losing just one more game as she wrapped up the match 7-5, 6-1.

Halep, a winner at Indian Wells in 2015, will play Croatia’s Petra Martic in the last eight.

Martic defeated the Czech Republic’s Marketa Vondrousova 6-3, 7-6(7-4).

Also into the last eight was Venus Williams, who followed up Monday’s win over sister Serena with another strong display as she got the better of 21st seed Anastasija Sevastova.

Williams, who has yet to drop a set, will face Carla Suarez Navarro in the last eight.

The big surprise of the day came as second seed and Australian Open champion Caroline Wozniacki was defeated by Russia’s Daria Kasatkina.

The Dane went down 6-4, 7-5 after blowing an early 3-0 lead against her 20-year old opponent.

Former world number one Karolina Pliskova defeated young American Amanda Anisimova to reach the quarter-finals for the third year in a row.

Pliskova won 6-1 7-6(7-2) against the 16-year-old wild card to end her impressive run that included a win over ninth seed Petra Kvitova in the third round.

Pliskova will play another youngster in 20-year-old Naomi Osaka after she defeated Greece’s Maria Sakkari 6-1, 5-7, 6-1 to reach the quarter-finals at Indian Wells for the first time.

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