BEIJING, China - No.2 seed Simona Halep wasted little time dispatching Russia's Daria Kasatkina, 6-2, 6-1, to reach her first China Open semifinal in 69 minutes on Friday.
Halep took a tough loss to the Volvo Car Open champion just last week at the Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open - her first in three meetings - but played with clear intent of restoring order to their head-to-head on the National Tennis Stadium, striking 19 winners to 21 unforced errors to dismiss the unseeded 20-year-old in little over an hour.
"I think I played much better than Wuhan," said Halep afterwards. "I changed the tactic and worked pretty well. I did just my game and my style, and I was very consistent and solid as well."
Kasatkina was in just her second career Premier Mandatory quarterfinal after outlasting defending champion Agnieszka Radwanska in three grueling sets.
She ultimately had few answers for Halep this time - particularly on serve, where she saved just two of nine break points faced throughout the match.
There has been plenty of revenge to go around for the Romanian in Beijing, getting her first win over former WTA World No.1 Maria Sharapova just one round earlier.
Halep could potentially avenge her Roland Garros final loss to No.9 seed Jelena Ostapenko in the semifinals should the Latvian get past doubles partner Sorana Cirstea later today.
"I expect a tough one, but it's going to be a big challenge either way, so I have to think what I have to play against them, and just try to do my job like I did today," she said.