Halep, Venus advance as Wozniacki knocked out
INDIAN WELLS – Agence France-Presse
World No. 1 Simona Halep and Venus Williams punched their tickets to the Indian Wells quarterfinals, while Caroline Wozniacki suffered another exit at the hands of Russia’s rising star Daria Kasatkina.
Halep breezed through her fourth round match with a 7-5, 6-1 win over China’s Wang Qiang and eighth seed Venus Williams faced a stern test from Anastasija Sevastova but held on for a 7-6 (8/6), 6-4 victory.
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.
Kasatkina recorded her second straight win over Wozniacki, having also beaten the Australian Open champ at the St. Petersburg tournament last month.
“I’m playing my best matches against the best players,” she said. “But if you want to be on the top, you have to beat the top players. So quite a simple rule.”
Kasatkina improved to 11-6 on the WTA Tour season as she seeks to better her quarterfinal appearance here in 2016.
It was a disappointing exit for Wozniacki, who finally silenced her critics earlier this year with her maiden Grand Slam title in Melbourne, where she defeated Halep in the final.
Wozniacki had a chance to get the No. 1 back but she needed to win the Indian Wells title to do it.
Kasatkina next plays 10th seed Angelique Kerber, of Germany, who roared past seventh seeded Caroline Garcia 6-1, 6-1.
Meanwhile, Halep, who is one of two former champions left in the draw, is now 17-1 on the season having already won a title in both singles and doubles at Shenzhen, China.
Halep advances to the quarterfinals where she will face unseeded Petra Martic of Croatia who beat Czech Marketa Vondrousova 6-3, 7-6 (7/4).