Halep ensures Martic is gone with the wind at Indian Wells

WTA INDIAN WELLS- Venus Halep and Pliskova march to the quarters

Pliskova's 6-1 7-6 (2) win ended the run of the young American, a wild card who beat ninth seed Petra Kvitova in the third round for the biggest win of her fledgling career.

The Croatian increased the intensity in a tie-break which she started with an ace and a frustrated Halep was forced to go the distance after sending a forehand long.

On the other hand, Pliskova advances to the quarterfinals where she will face Naomi Osaka of Japan who beat unseeded Maria Sakkari 6-1, 5-7, 6-1.

Halep said her early struggles in the final set were from nerves and frustration with the playing conditions. "I did exactly what he said after that". "But, you know, at least I tried, and I tried to do what I thought I needed to do out there today".

"I don't care what's happening on court, I just try to execute my game", Williams said. "So I feel really good and I want to thank everyone for cheering for me".

"From my side I was not able to play my game like I played the last few weeks", she said. "So quite simple rule".

They will face off in the blockbuster quarterfinal clash with the German being in top form as well, defeating world number seven Caroline Garcia 6-1, 6-1 later in the evening.

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Simona Halep showed why she's loved by many tennis fans - not just in her country Romania, but all across the globe.

"It was really important, because he just told me what I have to do. I'm not really thinking too much about who I'm playing, so that's been working out for me".

She said Serena Williams - who made her return at this year's tournament after having a baby in September - "should have been seeded number one, because she left as number one in the world".

Monfils used an eight-minute injury timeout in the second set to get his back worked on before returning to the court and getting broken in fourth game. The Japanese won six of 10 break points in the match while Pliskova could only convert two of four. Rattling off 15 of the opening 17 points, it was turning out to be a one-sided affair as the Russian looked totally out-of-sorts.

With Cilic, Ferrer, Novak Djokovic, Monfils and John Isner all eliminated from his quarter of the draw, things are looking wide open for del Potro, the 2009 U.S. Open champion. But he seems fine and he played a great match today.

No. 18 Sam Querrey rallied past Indian qualifier Yuki Bhambri 6-7 (7), 6-4, 6-4 and will play No. 28 Feliciano Lopez of Spain.

In a later match, Williams defeated Latvia's Anastasija Sevastova 7-6 (10-8) 6-4 in two tough sets to progress.

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