Halep eases into maiden grand slam semi-final in Paris

Wed Jun 4, 2014 2:35pm EDT
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By Julien Pretot

PARIS (Reuters) - Simona Halep, the wily Romanian fourth seed, outfoxed former French Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia 6-2 6-2 on Wednesday to reach her first grand slam semi-final.

Halep, junior champion at Roland Garros in 2008, will face Andrea Petkovic for a place in Saturday's final after the German beat former runner-up Sara Errani of Italy.

Russian 27th seed Kuznetsova, who won the title in 2009 to go with her 2004 U.S. Open title, took a medical timeout after the first set and came back with her left thigh strapped.

"I strained a muscle during the (last 16) match against Safarova, and then I was struggling with the pain," Kuznetsova told reporters.

"I managed to do it without a medical timeout in the Safarova match, but today it got worse."

Kuznetsova wasted break points early in the second set and made too many unforced forehand errors as Halep wrapped it up on the first match point when her opponent netted a service return.

Not a hard hitter, Halep compensates for her relative lack of power with her tactical nous.

"I felt very well on court. It was a perfect day for me. I played really well. I was very aggressive. I played very fast," Halep said.   Continued...

Simona Halep of Romania reacts after winning her women's quarter-final match against Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia at French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris June 4, 2014.             REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes