Williams crushes Halep to move to semis


Simona Halep's BNP Paribas Open title defence came to a quick and brutal end at the hands of Serena Williams in the quarter-finals on Wednesday.

Williams smashed 28 winners beyond her Romanian opponent as she won through to the semi-finals 6-4 6-3 in one hour, eight minutes in her bid for a third Indian Wells crown.

The world number one may be concerned by the fact she also hit 24 unforced errors on the way to victory, but the good vastly outweighed the bad for the American, who earned a semi-final showdown with third seed Agnieszka Radwanska.

Williams found herself a break up early in the first set but could not close it out after going 5-3 up, as Halep showed some fight to get back on serve.

Halep found herself love-40 down very quickly, and while she recovered to 30-40, Williams would not be denied.

Williams was efficient in the first set, taking her one break-point opportunity and playing clean service games to quickly tie up the match and send Halep packing.

But the 21-time grand-slam champion was full of praise for her opponent.

"Simona is such a dangerous player. She knows what it takes to be the best and beat the best," Williams said.

"I knew today I had to play the best that I could, but most of all have fun which is what I'm trying to do these days."