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Halep Secures Last Semifinal Spot

No.4 seed Simona Halep secured the final semifinal spot at Roland Garros when she eased past former champion Svetlana Kuznetsova, 6-2, 6-2.

Published June 04, 2014 12:13

Halep Secures Last Semifinal Spot
Simona Halep

PARIS, France - No.4 seed Simona Halep defeated former French Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova, 6-2, 6-2, on Wednesday to reach the first Grand Slam semifinal of her career.

The Plot
Tattooed on Kuznetsova's right bicep are the words 'Pain doesn't kill me. I kill the pain.' The Russian has backed these words up in deed in recent years, overcoming a number of injury setbacks to work her way back up the rankings.

The Turning Point
Injury, and a near-flawless display from Halep, finally killed her chances - for this year, at least - of lifting the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen for a second time. After losing a punishing first set, Kuzentsova came out for the second set with her left thigh heavily strapped. Halep was in no mood to take her foot off the accelerator, mercilessly dragging her opponent from side to side en route to a 6-2, 6-2 win.

The Romanian is yet to drop a set this tournament and this statistic rarely looked in danger on Suzanne Lenglen. Afternoon showers had delayed the start and the heavy conditions played into Halep's hands. Her metronomic consistency kept an increasingly frustrated Kuznetsova pinned to the baseline and after just over half an hour the first set was in the bag.

The 2009 champion came out at the start of the second looking to attack and enjoyed some early success, carving out a couple of early opportunities to break. Halep, though, held firm. She defused the danger with an ace and a typically well-constructed point to kick off a run of four straight games that took the match beyond her ailing opponent.

Quotes
"It seemed like everybody was with me in the crowd today, so it was amazing on court," Halep said of the atmosphere on Lenglen. "Even when I had bad moments on court they were with me and I felt amazing.

"It was a great match, a great atmosphere out there. It was my first time on Suzanne Lenglen and it was a perfect day - I cannot say anything more. Maybe it wasn't her best performance, but I'm really happy that I could play my game and to win against her, because she's a great player.

"Now I can look forward for the next round because it's my first semifinal at a Grand Slam and I have to be very focused, very calm, and to try to do everything on court to get the win."

What's Next
In her first Grand Slam semifinal, Halep will face fellow debutante Andrea Petkovic, a straight set winner over 2012 finalist Sara Errani.

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