Shenzhen Open: Simona Halep guaranteed top seeding in Australian Open after comeback win

Shenzhen: Simona Halep guaranteed top seeding for this month's Australian Open after battling back from a set down to defeat Duan Yingying 3-6, 6-1, 6-2 in Shenzhen on Wednesday.

The Romanian is now assured to remain World No 1 ahead of Caroline Wozniacki and Garbine Muguruza for the season's first Grand Slam which begins in Melbourne on 15 January.

Simona Halep in action against Duan Yingying. Image courtesy: Twitter @WTA

Simona Halep in action against Duan Yingying. Image courtesy: Twitter @WTA

Looking for a first victory over a top 10 player and cheered on by her home fans, the powerful World no 91 from China blasted her way to the first set without conceding a single break point.

Halep roared back, dropping just three more games to reach the quarter-finals of the WTA Tour event that she won in 2015 after an hour and 37 minutes of action.

"I knew that she's playing hard and hitting every ball, so I knew that I had to be very strong in my legs," Halep said after the match in the southern Chinese city that borders Hong Kong.

"After the first set, I knew I had to find the rhythm a little bit, to stay closer to the baseline and just open the court better, which I did very well.

"It was not easy, even though the scores were 6-1, 6-2. It was a very tough match."

Halep, who posted 21 winners with just 13 unforced errors, will next face another big hitter in teenage sensation Aryna Sabalenka from Belarus.

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Updated Date: Jan 03, 2018 18:57:10 IST

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