Indian Wells (California), March 11: World number two Simona Halep survived a tough challenge from Ukrainian qualifier Kateryna Kozlova to win their third round match 7-6(3) 7-5 at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California, on Sunday.
The Romanian finally put away the 114th ranked Kozlova with eight consecutive points in the second set, a backhand winner proving the decider just as it had in the first set.
The tournament lost 23-times Grand Slam winner Serena Williams, who retired against Garbine Muguruza with what organisers described as a viral illness. The Spaniard was ahead 6-3 1-0 at the time.
Halep said her opponent had been tough to put away.
“It was difficult for me to close out those sets,” she told reporters.
“When I was leading the match, she played without fear.”
The victory advanced the French Open champion, who won Indian Wells in 2015, to the fourth round for the fifth time in six years. (Agencies)