Halep Breezes Past Kuznetsova to Set Up Petkovic in French Open Semis

The highest-ranked player left in the ladies’ draw of the 2014 French Open Simona Halep sealed a comfortable straight sets win over 2009 champion Svetlana Kuznetsova to advance into the last-four.

The fourth seed cruised to a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Russia’s Kuznetsova in Court Suzanne Lenglen, to set up a semi-final meeting with Germany’s 28th seed Andrea Pertkovic, who roared into her first Grand Slam semi-final with another comprehensive 6-2, 6-2 win over Sara Errani.

Having retired her once-famous celebratory jig, Petkovic offered a smart bow to all four corners of the Philippe Chatrier, as well as a wide grin and plenty of waves.

Simona Halep Beats Kuznetsova to Reach Her First Grand Slam Semis.
Simona Halep Beats Kuznetsova to Reach Her First Grand Slam Semis.

It took the German just 28 minutes to blitz her way past Italy’s Errani in the first set, winning about 90% of her first serve percentage.

Errani broke in the opening game and consolidated that to claim a 2-0 lead, only to allow the German to break back and level at 2-2, before streaking ahead; winning four games on the trot to claim a 4-2 lead. After a slow start, Petkovic won six straight games to take the set 6-2.

And just like in the first, last year finalist Errani started strongly but fluffed an overhead on game point to help Petkovic break to love and level at 1-1.

After leveling the second set at 2-2, Petkovic broke with a backhand service return winner in the sixth game to move ahead 4-2.

With Errani’s serves being often times volleyed over by her opponent, Petkovic held on to a 6-2 second set win to become the first German woman to reach the Roland Garros semis since Steffi Graf won the 1999 championship.

But for Halep, 22, it was a proud moment, reaching her first Grand Slam semi-final.

The Romanian dominated an injury-laboured Kuznetsova, who had to leave the court early in the second set for a medical break.

The Russian had a break point in the second game but threw it away with a poorly-executed drop shot, allowing Halep to win their fourth- but marathon- deuce of the match, finally holding off for 1-1.

Several errors from Halep in the sixth game gave Kuznetsova the break in the sixth game to leave it at 4-2, but the 28-year-old followed up with three straight double faults to allow Halep bring the game to match point with a forehand winner.