Undated, Jan 3: World number one Simona Halep assured herself of top billing for the Australian Open after powering past local hope Duan Yingying and into the quarter-finals of the Shenzhen Open in China on Wednesday.
Halep hit 21 winners and won five out of eight break points to prevail 3-6 6-1 6-2 and secure her number one ranking going into next week and top seeding for Melbourne ahead of Caroline Wozniacki and Garbine Muguruza.
However, the Romanian did not have it easy until her rival suffered a thigh problem late on in the match after blazing through the first set to take the lead.
Caught off guard by Duan’s big hitting early on, Halep turned things around in the second set and broke the world number 91 twice for a 5-1 lead before levelling the contest.
Duan took a medical timeout and returned for the decider with heavy strapping on her left thigh.