Halep rallies past Duan, ensures top billing for AO

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 04 Jan 2018 10:41:20



WORLD number one Simona Halep assured herself of top billing for the Australian Open after powering past local hope Duan Yingying and into the quarter-finals of the Shenzhen Open in China on Wednesday.
Halep hit 21 winners and won five out of eight break points to prevail 3-6, 6-1, 6-2 and secure her number one ranking going into next week and top seeding for Melbourne ahead of Caroline Wozniacki and Garbine Muguruza.

However, the Romanian did not have it easy until her rival suffered a thigh problem late on in the match after blazing through the first set to take the lead.
Caught off guard by Duan’s big hitting early on, Halep turned things around in the second set and broke the world number 91 twice for a 5-1 lead before levelling the contest.
Duan took a medical time-out and returned for the decider with heavy strapping on her left thigh.

“I knew that she is playing really hard and hitting every ball. I knew I had to be strong on my legs,” Halep said.
Wozniacki continues march in Auckland CAROLINE Wozniacki continued to build on her WTA Finals victory late last year with another impressive performance on her way to a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Croatia’s Petra Martic to reach the quarter-finals of the Auckland Classic on Wednesday.

The Danish world number three ended 2017 with the biggest title of her career in Singapore and returned a day after thrashing Madison Brengle in her season opener to hit 21 winners against eight unforced errors in the 53-minute win over Martic.
“I’m trying to stay aggressive,” Wozniacki said in a court-side interview.
“I still made some unforced errors. It’s taking a few matches to play like 100 percent but #Hitavada#SportsI still felt I played pretty well today.”