PRAGUE, Czech Republic - After three-set victories in the first two rounds, top seed Simona Halep needed just under an hour on Friday to seal her spot in the semifinals at the Prague Open.
The two-time Grand Slam champion won the last seven games of the match to see off Polish lucky loser Magdalena Frech, 6-2, 6-0, to win her seventh consecutive match over the span of the last six months.
"The whole game... was better today," a pleased Halep assessed after the victory.
"I'm happy that I can play better and better day by day. It was a good one and I'll take it."
While Halep was finding her form against Polona Hercog and Barbora Krejcikova to start the week, the 22-year-old Frech, ranked World No.174, earned a spot in the main draw as one of three lucky losers after having lost a two-and-a-half hour 7-6(7), 7-6(2) match to former Top 30 player Lesia Tsurenko in the final round of qualifying.
Playing her second tour-level main draw of the season, the Pole made the most of her opportunity, beating Elena-Gabriela Ruse and Arantxa Rus for a berth in her first WTA quarterfinal.
Nonetheless, in her sixth match of the week, Frech had few answers to the in-form World No.2, and managed to hold serve just once in the 59-minute match.
"It was not easy also for her, as she played a tough match yesterday," Halep continued. "I think I hit the ball stronger, I opened the court better and I finished some drive volleys.
"It was good because the ball was coming a little bit softer than yesterday [against Krejcikova], so I just had to go there and be aggressive."
After the pair traded breaks to begin the match, Halep sprinted through the next five games before the Polish No.4 found some resistance late in the opener.
The World No.174 saved three set points on serve in the seventh game to force Halep to serve out the set, and created two break point chances of her own at 5-2, forcing Halep to find some her best tennis.
The two-time major champion came up with the goods from there, with a pair of big backhands and her first ace of the match helping her seal the game and the one-set lead.
Halep cruised from then on particularly on serve, as she went on to drop just four points on serve in the second set and land 81 percent of her first serves.
Halep, the champion in Dubai in February in her last tournament prior to the tour's hiatus, will seek her second final of 2020 against either compatriot Irina-Camelia Begu or Spain's Sara Sorribes Tormo.
"Both of them are very good players and the semifinals are always tough," she said.
"I'm here just to give my best, to fight until the end and to try to win the match."