World No.1 Simona Halep bounced back from an opening set defeat to trounce Duan Ying-Ying, advancing to the last eight in Shenzhen, and assuring herself the no. 1 spot for the upcoming Australian Open.
Halep defeated China’s Duan Ying Ying 3-6, 6-1, 6-2 in 98 minutes to advance to the quarter-final of the Shenzhen Open. With the victory, the Romanian secured the no. 1 seed for the upcoming Australian Open ahead of Caroline Wozniacki and Garbine Muguruza.
Although, the Chinese 4th seed started brilliantly, blasting her way to a first set lead, Halep would turn the match around, in similar fashion to what she did on grass at the Aegon International in Eastbourne last June.
“I knew that she’s playing hard and hitting every ball, so I knew that I had to be very strong in my legs,” Halep said after the match.
“After the first set, I knew I had to find the rhythm a little bit, to stay closer to the baseline and just open the court better, which I did very well. It was not easy, even though the scores were 6-1, 6-2 – it was a very tough match.”
In the quarterfinals, Halep will next face another big hitter in the form of teenage sensation Aryna Sabalenka, after the unseeded Belarussian looked impervious in a 6-1, 6-0 defeat of Montenegrin qualifier, Danka Konvinic on Tuesday.