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Malaysia

Tennis: Halep reaches semi-finals at Indian Wells

World No. 1 Simona Halep punched her ticket to the Indian Wells semi-finals with a 6-4, 6-7 (5/7), 6-3 win over Croatia's Petra Martic on Wednesday.

WTA world number one Simona Halep.(AFP pic)

WTA world number one Simona Halep.(AFP pic)

INDIAN WELLS: World No. 1 Simona Halep punched her ticket to the Indian Wells semi-finals with a 6-4, 6-7 (5/7), 6-3 win over Croatia’s Petra Martic on Wednesday.

The 26-year-old Halep improved to 18-1 on the season and is looking to win her second WTA Tour title of 2018.

Halep needed two hours and 23 minutes to put Martic away under taxing conditions as strong winds swirled around the main stadium court.

“I just fought and that’s maybe why I won because I refuse to lose.”

Halep is guaranteed to hold onto her No. 1 ranking at the end of this event after world number two Caroline Wozniacki was eliminated on Tuesday.

Halep moves on to the semi-finals where she will face either Japan’s Naomi Osaka or fifth seeded Karolina Pliskova.

Halep blasted two aces and broke Martic’s serve four times.

The turning point in the third set came for Halep after she won a challenge in the eighth game with Martic holding serve. On the very next point Martic hit a forehand wide as Halep took the game and a 5-3 set lead.

Halep then served for the match, winning five of the final six points after the challenge.