Last surviving Romanian in the women’s WTA tennis tournament at Indian Wells, Simona Halep will face Russia’s former world number one, Maria Sharapova in the third round. Number two seed for tournament, Sharapova has had a comfortable route through to the third round: a bye in the first and a straight sets 6-2, 6-0 victory over Argentine Gisela Dulko, one of the best doubles players on the women’s circuit.
Simona Halep, 21, has also had a straightforward run to the third round, she beat Shuai Zhang from China in the first round, breezing through, 6-1, 6-1. Petra Cetkovska provided Simona with a bit more competition, but she still came through in straight sets 6-2, 6-4. Sharapova, who has had trouble with form and injury in recent years, appears to be getting back to the top of her game and losing to Simona Halep in the third round of the Californian tournament would be a big surprise for the tennis world.
Halep’s physique has inspired press attention and lurid headlines. In 2009 she underwent surgical breast reduction, dropping from 34DD to a more modest 34C, as her chest size was reportedly causing problems for her game.
Romanians Irina Begu and Monica Niculescu lost their second round matches, both in straight sets.
Liam Lever, [email protected]