Injured Halep pulls out after reaching Qatar Open semi-finals

WTA Doha Maria Sharapova upbeat despite tough loss against inspired Monica Niculescu

Speaking at her post-match press conference, Wozniacki said: "She's a player that tries to get into your head".

The Spaniard said it was the best she had played so far this season.

The top seed recovered from a second set collapse to beat Kerber 7-6 (4), 1-6, 6-3 in a match lasting almost two and half hours on the hard courts of Doha.

"I didn't have much time to recover before this tournament, but today was too much, and I chose to stop", added Halep, who joins Russian Maria Sharapova and American Madison Keys in pulling out of next week's event.

Next up for Wozniacki will be former world No. 1 Angelique Kerber, after the German dumped Johanna Konta out.

Asked about keeping her place at the top of the world rankings, she replied: "It feels good, but honestly I m just happy to have won today".

Newly-crowned world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki complained of excessive grunting during her second-round match against Romania's Monica Niculescu at the Qatar Total Open in Doha on Thursday.

The method of her apparent sneaky tactics?

The Dane is also assured of holding on to her world number one spot after her main challenger Simona Halep pulled out of the tournament earlier in the evening because of a foot injury.

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Wozniacki was so upset about the sounds coming from the other side of the net that she complained to French umpire Emmanuel Joseph.

"This was huge for me", 18-year-old Bellis, ranked 48 in the world, said.

'I didn't want to get in her head.

Wozniacki also has her own reasons for doing well in Doha.

The Brit raced to a 6-1 lead in the first but was ultimately taken out 6-1 1-6 3-6 by the eighth seed, who progressed to the quarter-finals.

By advancing to the semi-final, Wozniacki becomes just the fourth woman in history to pass $30 million in tennis prize money.

The American teenager had come from behind to see off compatriot Madison Keys in the previous round and again showed her promise to secure a first top-five scalp by seeing off Pliskova 7-6 (7-4) 6-3.

"It's disturbing. It's in the rules that they're not supposed to do that so I was just making sure the umpire was paying attention to that".

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