Simona Halep is the first woman through to the semifinals of the Internazionali BNL D'Italia after beating Anett Kontaveit.

ROME, Italy - The tenacious Simona Halep is the first woman through to the semifinals of the Internazionali BNL D'Italia after beating Anett Kontaveit in straight sets, 6-2, 6-4.

The Estonian put up a brave battle, though, saving two match points before finally succumbing to her opponent's clay-court brilliance.

Although the Romanian broke the Kontaveit serve at the first opportunity in the opening set, the 21-year-old impressed as she broke straight back.

It was not enough to hold off Halep in supreme form, though, who looked entirely comfortable en route to the first set.

Kontaveit stayed in the second-set rallies, using her dropshot to fine effect, but in the end her error count was too high against Halep at the top of her game.