A 6-4 7-5 loss to Darya Kasatkina at the Indian Wells WTA event has cost Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki any chance of overtaking Simona Halep as world No.1.
Caroline Wozniacki has blown any chance of overtaking Simona Halep as world No.1 after losing to Darya Kasatkina in the Indian Wells WTA fourth round in California.
While Halep overcame a sluggish start on Tuesday to beat Wang Qiang, 7-5 6-1, Australian Open champion Wozniacki fell 6-4 7-5 to the same player who knocked her out of last month's St Petersburg Open.
"I'm just going on court and actually now enjoying every minute during I'm playing," 20th seed Kasatkina told reporters.
"And, yeah, I'm playing (my) best matches against the best players. But as I say, if you want to be on the top, you have to beat the top players. So quite simple rule."
Facing Kasatkina in the quarters will be No.10 seed Angelique Kerber, who easily defeated Caroline Garcia 6-1 6-1.
Earlier on Tuesday, Halep booked a quarter-final place against Petra Martic after getting the better of China's Wang.
The turning point came after a string of unforced errors left Halep trailing 5-4 in the first set, prompting Australian coach Darren Cahill to tell the defensive specialist to work longer points and reduce the error count.
Halep went on to lose only one more game.
The 26-year-old Romanian showed no sign of the foot injury that forced her to withdraw from last month's Qatar Open in Doha. She is well positioned to make a run at reclaiming the Indian Wells title she won in 2015.
First, she will have to get past unseeded Croatian Martic, who advanced to the last eight with a 6-3 7-6 (7-4) win against Marketa Vondrousova.
"She is a very tough opponent because she is serving pretty strong and also the forehand has a lot of top spin ... So I will have to work hard," Halep told the Tennis Channel.
A day after beating her sister Serena, Venus Williams moved past Anastasija Sevastova 7-6 (8-6) 6-4 and will next face Carla Suarez Navarro, who defeated Danielle Collins 6-2 6-4.
Former world No.1 Karolina Pliskova used her powerful serve to overwhelm 16-year-old Amanda Anisimova and reach the quarter-finals for the third year in a row.
Pliskova's 6-1 7-6 (7-2) win ended the run of the young American, a wildcard who beat ninth seed Petra Kvitova in the third round for the biggest win of her fledgling career.
Pliskova will meet 20-year-old Naomi Osaka, who defeated Maria Sakkari 6-1 5-7 6-1 to reach her first Indian Wells quarter-final.