Halep ensures Martic is gone with the wind at Indian Wells

Getty Images North America Simona Halep served her way out of trouble

Halep, guaranteed to remain world number one after this tournament following Caroline Wozniacki's exit, came from a break down in the final set to win 6-4 6-7 (5-7) 6-3.

Halep and second seed Caroline Wozniacki have taken turns being No. 1 this year with Wozniacki grabbing it after beating Halep in three sets in the Australian Open final and Halep winning it back just prior to Indian Wells.

The top seed made an ominous start, losing just one point as she won the first two games in the California desert and looked more comfortable in testing conditions.

I'm just going on court and actually now enjoying every minute during I'm playing. "I had the crowd behind me and that felt good", said Williams.

Halep, who will play Naomi Osaka or Karolina Pliskova in the last four, hit 37 winners and made as many unforced errors in a topsy-turvy encounter but finished strongly to prevail. "So quite simple rule".

Kasatkina will next in the quarters meet No. 10 seed Angelique Kerber who rolled past No. 7 seed Caroline Garcia 6-1, 6-1.

Simona Halep was largely untroubled in her victory over Qiang Wang at Indian Wells.

Although she can gain tournament entry with a protected ranking of world number one, Williams has no official ranking after more than a year off court.

"I'm playing my best matches against the best players", she said.

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

"She is a very tough opponent because she is serving pretty strong and also the forehand has a lot of top spin".

"It was really important, because he just told me what I have to do".

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 United States of America 6-1, 7-6 (7/2).

Pliskova's 6-1 7-6 (2) win ended the run of the young American, a wild card who beat ninth seed Petra Kvitova in the third round for the biggest win of her fledgling career.

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.



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