Miami | Halep close to regaining top spot
Simona Halep is edging closer to regaining the women’s No.1 ranking spot following her 6-4 7-5 win over Qiang Wang to reach the final four of the Mimi Open.
I just found out from my coach that I need one more match to be No. 1 again Simona Halep
She recovered brilliantly from a 1-5 deficit in the second set to remain on course to reclaim her place at the top from Naomi Osaka who was eliminated in the third round.
“I just found out from my coach that I need one more match to be No. 1 again,” Halep said. “I think it’s pretty much in my head, and I’m happy that I’m in this position again. Gives me confidence, because staying two months in the off-season, I didn’t believe I would be so close again so fast.
“So it’s going to be a big challenge, but I like to play with the pressure. So I hope tomorrow I play my best.”
Halep, the French Open champion, will try to reach her first South Florida final and reclaim the top spot by defeating the winner of a late all-Czech contest between world number five Karolina Pliskova and teenager Marketa Vondrousova which the former won 6-3 6-4 after a tough 80-minutes of play.
Pliskova’s greater experience proved decisive as she fended off four out of five break points and earned three breaks of serve from six chances, taking six of the last seven games to book her place in the last four..
“It’s going to be a tough match and a big challenge,” Halep said looking ahead to her match with the Czech. “Against Pliskova is always tough. We played many matches, but every match is difficult. I will just be ready for my semi-finals.”