LAST_UPDATESun, 18 Mar 2018 9pm

Simona Halep Moves Into Quarter-Finals With Victory Over Wang Qiang

Pic: EPA (Halep will next play world number 51 Petra Martic of Croatia)Pic: EPA (Halep will next play world number 51 Petra Martic of Croatia)Simona Halep booked her place in the Indian Wells quarter-finals as she beat Wang Qiang in straight sets.

Romanian world number one Halep said Wang had recently beaten her in practice but on Tuesday she cruised past her Chinese opponent, beating the world number 55 7-5 6-1.

Halep, 26, will next play world number 51 Petra Martic of Croatia.

Unseeded 27-year-old Martic beat the Czech Republic's Marketa Vondrousova 6-3 7-6 (7-4) to reach the last eight.

Halep said she "dominated a little bit more" against Wang than in her previous match, in which she lost the first set against world number 165 Caroline Dolehide, a 19-year-old American.

"I knew it would be like that because we practised a few days ago and she beat me in practice," she added. "I wasn't missing that much."

Former world number one Karolina Pliskova also made it through to the quarter-finals, beating 16-year-old Amanda Anisimova 6-1 7-6 (6-2).

American Anisimova, a tournament wildcard, had beaten ninth seed Petra Kvitova in the third round.

Czech Pliskova, the world number five, will play Japan's Naomi Osaka, who beat Maria Sakkari of Greece 6-1 5-7 6-1.

In the men's event, world number three Marin Cilic suffered a defeat in straight sets by Philipp Kohlschreiber, losing 6-4 6-4 to the German.

Kohlschreiber will next play the unseeded Pierre-Hugues Herbert, who won his third round match when fellow Frenchman Gael Monfils retired with a back injury.

Juan Martin del Potro beat Spaniard David Ferrer 6-4 7-6 (6-3) and will play fellow Argentine Leonardo Mayer, who defeated Japan's Taro Daniel 6-4 6-1.

'Serena should have been top seed'

Speaking after her match, number one seed Halep also said tennis authorities should consider introducing a 'protected seeding' system for players returning after maternity leave.

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".

Williams, a 23-time Grand Slam champion and the most successful player of the Open era, was knocked out by her sister Venus in round three in California.

Although she can gain tournament entry with a protected ranking of world number one, Williams has no official ranking after more than a year off court.

"I think she should have been ranked as she left," Halep added.

"Not taking the ranking because she didn't play tournaments, but just protected ranking for - I don't know how many tournaments you have, like, eight. She could be the number one seed for those tournaments. This is my opinion."