An upset looked possible in the first set when
Dodin's big first serve troubled Romanian Halep who appeared to
be continuing the lacklustre form that got her crushed by Naomi
Osaka in the Indian Wells semi-finals last week.
But the defensive-minded Halep, who at times reached down to rub
a troublesome right ankle, improved as a match lasting over two
hours wore on, getting the better of Dodin in extended rallies
and in the key moments of the match.
The turning-point came when Halep had break points at 5-5 in the
third set and jumped all over a weak second serve from the
21-year-old Dodin to move ahead.
Halep won the next game to love, rocketing down an ace on match
point to set up a meeting with 30th-seeded Pole Agnieszka
Radwanska who defeated Belgian Alison Van Uytvanck 6-3 7-6(4).
Halep has amassed enough ranking points that her number one
standing is not in jeopardy in Miami. She would have maintained
top spot even if she had lost on Thursday and world number two
Caroline Wozniacki went on to win the tournament.
Angelique Kerber, the 10th seed, cruised to a 6-2 6-2 win over
Swede Johanna Larsson, setting up a third-round showdown with
Russian 23rd seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.
Fifth-seeded Czech Karolina Pliskova dispatched Russian
Ekaterina Makarova 7-5 7-5 and unseeded German Carina Witthoft
upset her 12th-seeded countrywoman Julia Gorges 7-6(2) 4-6 6-4.
(Reporting by Rory Carroll, editing by Ed Osmond)
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