Doha, February 15: Simona Halep secured a confident straight-sets win over Anastasija Sevastova to reach the quarter-finals of the Qatar Open.
The Romanian's response to her Australian Open final defeat has been a strong one in Doha and she moved into the last eight with a 6-4, 6-3 victory against a determined opponent in Sevastova.
Earlier, Garbine Muguruza made short work of Sorana Cirstea to reach the quarter-finals with a 6-0, 6-4 triumph.
A sloppy start from the world number two allowed Sevastova to break her serve in the very first game, but Halep soon felt her way into the match and levelled at 2-2.
An entertaining opening set turned in Halep's favour at 5-3 and, although Sevastova swiftly hit back, she then brilliantly broke to love to clinch the lead after 32 minutes.
The two players continued to trade blows, with Halep again recovering after a series of errors had handed the Latvian the advantage in the second set.
Sevastova did not crumble, but Halep's pressure told as she came to the net to belatedly finish the contest in style with her fourth match point, before acknowledging that her class had won out against a tough opponent.
" is a great player and I was a little bit nervous," she said on court. "I'm glad that I could play maybe my best tennis."
Halep will now face an unseeded opponent in the quarter-finals following CiCi Bellis' surprise win over fifth seed and defending champion Karolina Pliskova.
Cruises past Sevastova 6-4, 6-3! pic.twitter.com/nZVOOyKYHG— WTA (@WTA) February 15, 2018
Muguruza, after her easy win, said: "I like to feel the pressure to be one of those privileged tennis players that competes for titles. It's tough when you lose but I like it ."
Cruises past Cirstea 6-0, 6-4! pic.twitter.com/y63I7vNCpX— WTA (@WTA) February 15, 2018