INDIAN WELLS: World number two Simona Halep cruised into the third round at Indian Wells on Friday with a 6-2, 6-4 victory over Barbora Strycova.
Halep, who lifted the Indian Wells WTA trophy in 2015, improved to 5-0 against the Czech veteran, who has never taken a set from the Romanian.
Halep belted 18 winners and converted six of 11 reak point chances as she set up a third-round meeting with Ukrainian qualifier Kateryna Kozlova, a 6-4, 2-6, 6-0 winner over 31st-seeded Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus.
Halep and Strycova traded four breaks of serve as the second set moved to 4-4.
After Halep held for a 5-4 lead she broke Strycova in the final game, pocketing the win on her second match point.
She was pleased with the start, in windy, increasingly chilly conditions.
“It was pretty difficult in the end,” Halep said. “We got cold, both of us.
“It was not easy to play, but I felt good. I think I played good tennis today and, for the first match here, I’m happy about it.”