Halep cruises past King


Simona Halep made a dream start to her BNP Paribas Open title defence with a thrashing of Vania King on Friday.

The Romanian fifth seed, under pressure as she bids to defend her points at the WTA Premier event, crushed American King 6-1 6-1 in just 55 minutes in the second round at Indian Wells.

Halep had lost the only previous clash between the pair, although that was in 2010, but a repeat never looked likely.

She took control from the outset as she returned to some form, having struggled this year due to injuries.

From 1-1 in the first set, Halep won nine straight games as she blitzed into a 4-0 lead in the second before closing out her win.

Halep finished with 18 winners in an excellent display as she set up a clash against Russian left-hander Ekaterina Makarova, a player she has beaten in two of their three meetings.