Halep pulls off Tsurenko repeat to reach last eight
Simona Halep beat Lesia Tsurenko for the second time in the space of a week to reach the quarter-finals of the Dubai Tennis Championships.
Halep grasped the opportunity to make up points on world number one Naomi Osaka - beaten by Kristina Mladenovic in her first match of the tournament - with a 6-3 7-5 victory on Wednesday.
Third seed Halep knocked Tsurenko out of the Qatar Open en route to the final, which she lost against Elise Mertens, and got the better of the Ukrainian again seven days later in testing conditions due to the wind.
The French Open champion will face Belinda Bencic or Aryna Sabalenka in the last eight after breaking seven times and making 17 unforced errors to 28 from Tsurenko.
Halep's positive approach paid off in a first set that included six breaks, Tsurenko losing four service games in a row as the world number two applied the pressure.
The 23-ranked Tsurenko sprayed a forehand long to conclude the opening set, but won the first two games of the second to offer hope she could at least go the distance.
Halep broke back to level at 2-2 and again when Tsurenko had the opportunity to serve out the set, the Romanian mixing up a perfectly executed dropshot with measured groundstrokes.
The 2015 champion then broke to love to seal a straight-sets victory as she eyes a first title of the season.