Halep, Kvitova move into China Open semifinals

Friday at the China Open is all about women’s quarterfinal matches and the first to make the semifinals was second seed Simona Halep, who needed just 69 minutes to beat Daria Kasatkina 6-2 6-1, the 34th-ranked player who defeated her in the second round of the Wuhan Open last week, with the exact same scoreline!

The Beijing tournament seems to be a place of revenge and catching up with lost chances for Halep. So far this season Halep has failed to grab the number one ranking five times — at Roland Garros, Eastbourne, Wimbledon, Cincinnati, and the US Open — and now she will finally reach the top spot if she makes the final, or if Elina Svitolina also makes the final, the China Open champion will be a new No.1.

When it comes to avenging losses in Beijing, Halep first made a breakthrough by finally defeating Maria Sharapova, the player who eliminated her in the hard-fought first round of the US Open, then the win over Kasatkina is revenge for the recent defeat during the 2017 Asian Swing, and finally Halep’s upcoming opponent, Jelena Ostapenko, is the player who upset her in the 2017 French Open final, spoiling the Romanian’s dream of reaching the No.1 ranking. The ninth-seeded Ostapenko reached the China Open semifinals with a 6-4 6-4 victory over Sorana Cirstea.

Seed No.12 Petra Kvitova dictated play in her 6-3 6-4 quarterfinal victory over fellow Czech Barbora Strycova. After cruising to a 4-1 lead in the first set, Kvitova had a set point at 5-3 on Strycova’s serve, and even though Strycova defended herself and earned her first break point in the following game to try to stay alive, the two-time Wimbledon champion Kvitova converted her second set point. Strycova’s defense and movement were better in the second set, but not as good as necessary to see off the powerful Kvitova.

Stay tuned, later today I’ll post our photos from Beijing’s WTA quarterfinal action!

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