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Simona Halep v Qiang Wang WTA Indian Wells predictions, betting tips & live stream: Halep heading back to quarter-finals

Leye Aduloju 13 Mar 2018
  • Simona Halep vs Qiang Wang is live from Indian Wells on Tuesday, 13 March from 11:00am local time/ 7:00pm DST
  • Halep and Wang meet for the first time in their careers
  • Watch and bet on tennis live at Unibet > live streaming > tennis
Simona Halep. (Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images)

Simona Halep looks to get into the quarter finals of the BNP Paribas Open for the fourth time in the last five years when she takes on China’s Qiang Wang on Tuesday.

Simona Halep vs Qiang Wang WTA BNP Paribas Open tennis is live from Indian Wells on Tuesday, 13 March from 11:00am local time. Watch and bet on tennis live at Unibet > live streaming > tennis
Halep made at least the quarter finals at Indian Wells between 2014 and 2016, winning the title in 2015, but that run was halted last year when she fell to Kristina Mladenovic in the third round in her first tournament back after an ankle injury had kept her out for a month.

The Romanian of course, went on to have a terrific season, consistently going deep in tournaments, winning the Madrid title, and ending the season with the world number one ranking.
Halep has brought a similar consistency into 2018, opening with a title-winning run in Shenzhen, before defying a foot injury to battle all the way to the Australian Open final, which she unfortunately lost to Caroline Wozniacki after a two-hour epic. That result meant she conceded the world’s top-ranking to her Danish rival, Wozniacki, but she regained it during the Middle East swing, despite missing the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.

Halep had reached the semi-finals in Doha before pulling out of a scheduled match with Garbine Muguruza with a foot injury, which also kept her out of the following week’s tournament in Dubai.

The world number one recovered in time to take her place in the Indian Wells field, where she cut down the dangerous but erratic Kristyna Pliskova 6-4 6-4 in the second round- she had a first-round bye- before battling through to a three-set win over American wildcard, Caroline Delohide. The impressive Delohide was coming off a victory over former top-ten star, Dominika Cibulkova, and she made a confident start against Halep, powering through the opening set for the loss of just one game.

Halep drew on all her experience to rein in the youngster, and despite being broken while serving for the second set in a remarkable exchange of four straight breaks, the world number one eked out the hour-long set on a tie break, before racing through the decider to complete a comeback 1-6 7-6 6-2 victory after two hours and nine minutes.

"I was fighting to try to find the rhythm and to try to find the right game against her, which I did’, Halep said after the match. “This is the best thing that I will take from this match, not that much the victory. The thing that I found what I have to play, and I came back was more important."  
"She's playing really, really well, and I never played against her, so I didn't know how the ball is coming”.  
"It was pretty tough in the first set. I played too flat and too fast. So then I tried to miss less and make her move, to roll the ball better... In the end, I think I was stronger on the legs. Also, when I had to finish the point, I did."

Halep might have been expecting a rematch with Kristina Mladenovic in the next round, but instead, she faces China’s Qiang Wang, who continued her amazing dominance over Mladenovic with a 6-1 6-2 victory in the third round.

Wang broke into the top 50 in 2017 following a year during which she made the semi-finals in Hong Kong; and quarter finals in Shenzhen, Dubai, Kuala Lumpur and Osaka. Among other notable results were Round-of-16s in Madrid and Wuhan, while she won the WTA 125K title in Zhengzhou.

Qiang Wang. (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)
However, she slid out of the top-50 after a poor start to 2018- she lost her first three matches in Shenzhen, the Australian Open and Doha, and needed a lucky-loser berth to get into Dubai. After sneaking into the Dubai draw, Wang finally won her first WTA main draw match of the season, beating Kiki Bertens 6-3 6-0, but her tournament ended in the next round when she fell to Elina Svitolina.

The Chinese has undergone an impressive turnaround in form at Indian Wells, coming through three very good opponents to take her place in the fourth-round field. The 26-year-old ousted former top-ten star, and former Roland Garros semi-finalist, Timea Bacsinszky in three sets in the opening round, before taking down Australian Open semi-finalist, Elise Mertens, also in three sets, in the second round. The sight of Mladenovic in the third round brought out the very best in her, like it had done on two previous occasions, with the Chinese easing to a 6-1 6-2 victory over the Frenchwoman. Remarkably, Wang has now lost only eight games in three meetings with Mladenovic! There was a 6-0 6-0 win somewhere in the mix as well. If she could handpick her opponents, I fancy Mladenovic would be top of the list!

Unfortunately, she does not have that luxury, as she crashes into the No. 1 player in the world on Tuesday, with a spot in a maiden Premier Mandatory quarter final on the line.

"I practiced with her a few days ago here", Halep said of Wang. She's a tough opponent. She's playing well. I expect a really tough one. Different than today, obviously, but I'm ready. I feel okay. So I will do everything I can just to win the match."

This will be the first meeting between Wang and Halep, and it promises quite a few extended rallies as both ladies move very well; and are fine retrievers. That, of course, is Halep’s stock-in-trade, and she arguably does it better than anyone else, which is why this is a difficult match-up for Wang. The Chinese will get stuck in and provide plenty of entertainment, but she does not possess the explosiveness to hit Halep off the court, hence the world number one should make fairly comfortable progress into the Indian Wells quarter finals. 

Simona Halep vs Qiang Wang is live from Indian Wells on Tuesday, 13 March from 11:00am local time/ 7:00pm DST
Watch and bet on the match live at Unibet > live streaming > Simona Halep vs Qiang Wang

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Simona Halep v Qiang Wang WTA Indian Wells predictions, betting tips & live stream: Halep heading back to quarter-finals

Simona Halep takes on China's Qiang Wang in the fourth round at Indian Wells on Tuesday. Will the Romanian reach the last eight for the fourth time in five years? Read our preview, predictions and stream the match live online.

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