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Simona Halep knocks off Coco Gauff at Indian Wells

Sportsnaut
Mar 13, 2022; Indian Wells, CA, USA;  Simona Halep (ROU) celebrates after defeating Coco Gauff (USA) in her third round match at the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 13, 2022; Indian Wells, CA, USA; Simona Halep (ROU) celebrates after defeating Coco Gauff (USA) in her third round match at the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Simona Halep committed just 12 unforced errors on Sunday night while posting a 6-3, 6-4 victory over American Coco Gauff at the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells, Calif.

The 24th-seeded Romanian hit 11 winners while playing more economical tennis than Gauff, who had 33 unforced errors to go with 18 winners while playing on her 18th birthday.

Halep didn’t commit a double fault while Gauff had four in the windy conditions. Halep is 2-0 against Gauff, also beating her at Wimbledon in 2019 in the round of 16.

“It’s not always easy to find your rhythm when the wind is strong,” Halep said in her postmatch interview. “On one side of the pitch, I had to apply a certain style, and on the other side (I had) to change. You have to stabilize.

“It’s always important to find your rhythm, and no matter how hard you play, it’s important to win.”

Halep will face countrymate Sorana Cirstea in the round of 16. The 26th-seeded Cirstea defeated Russia’s Anna Kalinskaya 5-7, 6-1, 6-0 to advance.

Halep and Cirstea have met three times but haven’t faced each other since 2010. Cirstea has won two of the three meetings.

Great Britain’s Emma Raducanu, seeded 11th, was sent packing as Croatia’s Petra Martic rallied for a 6-7 (3), 6-4, 7-5 victory.

The 19-year-old Raducanu had a 5-4 lead in the third set before Martic fought to stay in the match and then easily won the final two games.

“It was a rollercoaster of emotions, obviously it was a really tough match,” Martic said afterwards. “I managed to turn it around, and I’m really happy with today’s win.”

Martic next faces 28th-seeded Russian Liudmila Samsonova, who was a 6-4, 7-6 (4) winner over Danka Kovinic of Montenegro.

Also advancing was third-seeded Iga Swiatek as the Pole recovered from dropping the opening set to post a 6-7 (3), 6-2, 6-1 victory over Denmark’s Clara Tauson.

“I think you have to put pressure on her too because she likes being aggressive as well and playing fast, and her hand is pretty strong,” Swiatek said after beating Tauson. “I feel like she was hitting full power sometimes when I didn’t put much pressure on her. So I needed to do that.”

Madison Keys, seeded 25th, notched a 7-6 (4), 6-1 win over fellow American Alison Riske, 15h-seeded German Angelique Kerber rolled to a 6-2, 6-1 triumph over Russia’s Daria Kasatkina, and Brit qualifier Harriet Dart beat Estonia’s Kaia Kanepi 7-6 (4), 6-3.

–Field Level Media