Top seed Simona Halep withstood an impressive charge from American wildcard Caroline Dolehide, recovering from a set down to win, 1-6, 7-6(3), 6-2, and advance into the fourth round of the BNP Paribas Open.
“I’m really, really happy about this victory,” a relieved Halep said after the match. “It was tough down there, and much respect to her, because she’s playing really good tennis.”
Halep had looked solid in her opening round encouter with Kristyna Pliskova, but was on the back foot from the first game against Dolehide, who earned the biggest win of her career in the previous round over former World No.4 Dominika Cibulkova, wtatennis.com informs.
The 19-year-old held on to start the match and only got better as the opening set wore on, breaking serve twice and pulling off some stellar winners to put Halep on the brink of elimination.
“She’s playing really, really well, and I never played against her, so I didn’t know how the ball is coming. It was pretty tough in the first set. I played too flat and too fast. So then I tried to miss less and make her move, to roll the ball better.”
Halep was forced to use her full arsenal to wrest control from the inspired American, who broke the Romanian as she served to level the match and force a second set tie-break.
“In the end, I think I was stronger on the legs. Also, when I had to finish the point, I did.”
In the end, Halep struck 17 winners to Dolehide’s 33, but only 30 unforced errors to the wildcard’s 47, and maintained strong serving numbers to finish with a 68% first serve percentage – winning 64% of those points.
Standing between the 2015 BNP Paribas Open champion and a spot in the quarterfinals is China’s Wang Qiang, who improved to 3-0 against Kristina Mladenovic on Sunday with a 6-1, 6-2 victory over the Frenchwoman.
Niculescu/ Hlavackova in the doubles quarter-finals
The pair made up by Romanian tennis player Monica Niculescu and Czech Andrea Hlavackova qualified on Sunday to the quarter-finals of the doubles event at the WTA tournament in Indian Wells (California), with total prizes of USD 7,972,535 after defeating Shuko Aoyama (Japan) / Zhaoxuan Yang (China) 6-2, 7-5.
The 5th seeded won in one hour and 25 minutes.
Niculescu and Hlavackova have secured a cheque of USD 54,760 and 215 WTA points, and in the quarter-finals will face Timea Babos (Hungary) / Kristina Mladenovic (France), 4th seeded, who defeated Katerina Bondarenko (Ukraine) / Aleksandra Krunic (Serbia) 6-1, 7 -5.
Tecau/Rojer through to round of 16 in men’s doubles
The pair made up by Romanian tennis player Horia Tecau and Dutchman Jean-Julien Rojer qualified on Sunday to the round of 16 in the men’s doubles, after defeating Ryan Harrison / Max Mirnyi 7-6 (5), 6-4.
Tecau and Rojer, 6th seeded, won in one hour and 29 minutes, and secured a cheque of USD 28,880 and 90 ATP points.
In the next round, the Romanian-Dutch pair will play against Spain’s Feliciano Lopez / Marc Lopez, whom they defeated last year in the US Open final.