With Petra Kvitova and Naomi Osaka out of the tournament, Simona Halep has the opportunity to be No. 1 once more if she makes the final of the Miami Open. She has to win two more matches to get there, beginning with Qiang Wang in the quarter-finals.
After a scrappy win against Polona Hercog in the previous round, it was far more straight forward for Halep in round four. She eased past Venus Williams 6-3 6-3, rarely being troubled by the former No. 1. It was backed by a strong serving performance, something the Romanian was definitely pleased with afterwards. “I’m more confident. And when I saw today that I can win easy games with my serve, gave me a lot of confidence because she’s a very good returner.” she said.
Wang has established herself on the tour over the past few years, finally hitting the top 20 in large part due to her success in the Asian swing last year. She will be ranked at least No. 16 after this tournament but could go as high as No. 10 if she wins the title. She beat Yafan Wang 7-5 6-4, striking at the end of each set to take the victory.
Halep does have very minor knee issues but it shouldn’t be something that impacts her too much. “I’m feeling okay, much better than yesterday. A little bit tired but it’s normal. The knee was fine, it’s good that tomorrow I have day off for singles.” she said. Wang is much improved from the player that lost 7-5 6-1 to Halep last year at Indian Wells but with the No. 1 in her grasp, Halep will be desperate to advance.
Prediction – Simona Halep in straight sets