Simona Halep sizzling at Indian Wells downs Martic in quarterfinals

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Simona Halep sizzling at Indian Wells downs Martic in quarterfinals

"..I'm not that close to my best level, in my opinion. But I'm working hard to improve," Simona Halep ranked no. 26 in the world said on her first round win against Ekaterina Alexandrova. She had lost a set to her feisty opponent but that's the only set loss the entire 'Desert' tournament so far.

No one will agree with Halep on her not being close to her best; not Coco Gauff, compatriot Sorana Cirstea or Petra Martic. "I need confidence," Halep had mentioned but with every round that phrase has become more a joke than an explanation of truth.

The tough Romanian took the skills that Petra Martic had and neutralized it to nearly nothing. The strategic Croatian had did well on getting wins over her opponents before playing Halep. She won straight sets every match except against Emma Raducanu in the third round.

But when Halep bounced onto Court 1 at the Indian Wells complex she was spilling over with confidence. Simona's shots and strategies were far too sharp for the well meaning Martic who was overran by Halep 6-1, 6-1. Halep predicted where Martic would put the ball perfectly and there were hardly any shots that she fluffed when compared to the tired-looking Martic.

The Croatian had a few good rallies with the Romanian but when Halep gets into gear, a few isn't ever enough to overpower her tactics. Whether it be down-the-lines, hitting into the open court or blasting volleys Halep held the upper hand on most rallies, long or short.

All the talk on Simona's side of playing without a coach has fizzled as she chose one from the Patrick Mouratoglou Academy, Morgan Bourbon. "..Physically I'm super good. I feel healthy, I feel in a good shape," Halep smilingly says.

But she doesn't have to say much now as the proof is with her performance on court. She has upped her level time and again. Simona Halep need not say much, but let her racket do the talking. It has and looks as though it will, for the remainder of the Indian Wells tournament.