BEIJING, China - Jelena Ostapenko powered her way into the semifinals of the China Open, beating Sorana Cirstea 6-4, 6-4 in a match dominated by errors and breaks of serve.
"We had some really good rallies," said the World No.8. "Even I hit a lot of unforced errors, still I stayed very focused in the match and won it."
The French Open champion wasted little time in asserting herself, breaking the Romanian's serve within three minutes in the first game of the match.
She could not immediately back it up, though, serving up three errors including two double-faults to allow Cirstea to break right back; but Ostapenko broke again with her impressive forehand to take a 2-1 lead.
The 20-year-old did then manage to consolidate that lead, and broke once more, but was still not looking confident on her own serve, with another double-fault allowing Cirstea to close the gap.
Ostapenko got the chance to serve out the first set, but Cirstea broke once more and then held to 15 to reduce the French Open champion's lead to a single game.
The first set concluded as Ostapenko managed to hold in spectacular style, to love.
That gave her impetus as she began to overwhelm her opponent at the start of the second set, using her groundstrokes to good effect for the first time in the match.
Cirstea hit back at a disgruntled Ostapenko, leveling things at 3-3, but the Latvian responded with energy, breaking the Romanian's serve and holding once more.
Ostapenko then served out the match to secure her seventh semifinal of the year, where she will face Simona Halep - the woman she beat in the Roland Garros final.
"She's a great player," reflected Ostapenko. "If I play my best and I stay aggressive tomorrow and I am consistent, I think everything can happen."