Azarenka beats Halep to reach Qatar Open quarters

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DOHA, Qatar (AP) -- Top-ranked Victoria Azarenka defeated Simona Halep of Romania 6-3, 6-1 Thursday to reach the quarterfinals of the Qatar Open.

The Australian Open champion trailed Halep 3-1 in the first set. But Azarenka won the next eight games to take a 3-0 lead in the second set.

The 63rd-ranked Halep managed to break Azarenka to make it 5-1. Azarenka broke back to clinch the match with a forehand winner down the line.

Azarenka will face Yanina Wickmayer of Belgium, who beat Ksenia Pervak of Kazakhstan 6-4, 6-0.