Simona Halep, of Romania, hits a forehand to Petra Martic, of Croatia, during the quarterfinals at the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament Wednesday, March 14, 2018, in Indian Wells, Calif. (Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press)

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. — Simona Halep fought the wind and a pesky opponent to reach the semifinals of the BNP Paribas Open.

The world’s top-ranked woman outlasted Petra Martic of Croatia 6-4, 6-7 (7), 6-3 on Wednesday and improved to 18-1 in matches this year.

Winds gusting to 15 mph made shots tricky. Trailing 4-2 in the first set, Martic closed to 5-4 before Halep served it out.

Martic controlled the second set, taking a 5-2 lead before Halep forced the tiebreaker. The Romanian tied it 5-all before Martic won the final two points to force a third set. Halep rallied from a 2-1 deficit to tie it 3-all before winning the last three games.

Halep will play the winner of a quarterfinal between No. 5 seed Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic and Naomi Osaka of Japan.


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