WTA Indian Wells: Simona Halep battles past Kateryna Kozlova to reach R16


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WTA Indian Wells: Simona Halep battles past Kateryna Kozlova to reach R16

The 2nd seed and 2015 Indian Wells champion Simona Halep is the first player who has secured the place in the fourth round on Sunday, ousting a qualifier Kateryna Kozlova 7-6, 7-5 in an hour and 47 minutes to stay on the title course.

The Romanian won 12 points more overall although she had to work hard to cross the finish line first, suffering five breaks from seven chances he offered to Kozlova and breaking the rival on six occasions for the place in the next round.

Simona broke in the very first game of the match for the encouraging start before Kateryna pulled the break back in game four when Halep sprayed a forehand error. The Ukrainian fended off three break points in the next game to move in front, squandering game points next time around to suffer a break and fall 4-3 behind.

Kozlova repelled a set point in game nine to stay in the set and she was back on the positive side of the scoreboard after a forehand down the line winner in game ten that gave her a much-needed break of serve. The set went into a tie break two good holds later and Simona clinched it 7-3 with a backhand down the line winner after 62 minutes.

Set number two kicked off with four straight breaks and it was Halep who grabbed another one to move 4-2 up following a forehand error from Kozlova in game six. Serving for the win at 5-3, Simona played a loose service game and lost serve after spraying a forehand error, keeping Kateryna in the match before breaking her at love with a backhand down the line winner in game 12 to seal the deal and avoid spending more time on the court.