Simona Halep made her second semifinal of the day at the Mutua Madrid Open, upsetting doubles stars Sania Mirza and Yaroslava Shvedova alongside countrywoman Irina-Camelia Begu.
WTA Staff

MADRID, Spain - Simona Halep hasn't gotten tired of winning quite yet at the Mutua Madrid Open. Shortly after her sprightly 6-1, 6-1 win over CoCo Vandeweghe, the defending champion edged past top doubles talents Sania Mirza and Yaroslava Shvedova with help from fellow Romanian Irina-Camelia Begu, shocking the No.4 seeds, 6-3, 3-6, 10-6.

"It's been a very good week," she said in her post-match press conference.

"It was a good experience to play against these two players. They are very good. The best doubles players, maybe in the world. It is nice to be in the semis, and I played well with Irina. I'll enjoy playing again tomorrow, too."

Mirza and Shvedova recently paired up after the former No.1 split with Barbora Strycova and Shvedova's partner Vania King was forced off the tour due to injury.

Halep last played doubles with Begu back in 2013, but have already knocked out two seeded teams - starting with a win over No.8 seeds Abigail Spears and Katerina Srebotnik - en route to the semifinals.

"She asked me before the tournament if I play doubles, or if I want to play doubles. I asked Darren if I should play doubles because I was undecided. He said that it's good to play some matches, so I said yes.

"We're not like regular doubles partners. We are colleagues and friends. We just said to play this week; to play next week, I give up now, so no more doubles in Rome. She knows, so is not news!

"I enjoyed a lot playing with her. I hope to play with her many times."

Halep last enjoyed double trouble at the Rogers Cup, when she won the singles title and finished runner-up in doubles with countrywoman Monica Niuclescu against eventual Olympic Gold medalists Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina.

"I remember Montréal. I hope to repeat that. But it's not going to be easy. Those doubles matches put me in the rhythm. I'm really happy that I played."

"I was super motivated because I got hit in the head at the beginning of the match. I still feel it. It was a volley, so imagine. "I got extra motivated. I couldn't imagine to lose that match!"
Simona Halep

Halep's favorite part about doubles?

"Shopping money!" she joked.

The laughs continued when the Romanian outlined the secret to her success on Thursday.

"Today was a great win. I was super motivated because I got hit in the head at the beginning of the match. I still feel it. It was a volley, so imagine.

"I got extra motivated. I couldn't imagine to lose that match. I did everything I could. I was very energetic. I was hitting all the balls, doing everything on court. My coach told me that was the best match I ever played in doubles.

"I said, 'Yeah, I need to be hit before, and then I can play!'"

Next up for Halep and Begu are No.5 seeds Timea Babos and Andrea Hlavackova; the streaking seeds won their seventh straight match in Madrid after winning their first title together at the Grand Prix de SAR La Princesse Lalla Meryem, defeating Kiki Bertens and Johanna Larsson, 6-2, 6-4.

Click here to read more about Babos and Hlavackova, and the changing doubles field courtesy of WTA Insider.

The second semifinal will be between No.3 seeds Chan Yung-Jan and Martina HIngis, who outlasted Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Kveta Peschke, 4-6, 6-3, 10-8, and Spanish wildcards Arantxa Parra Santonja and Sílvia Soler Espinosa, who beat the all-Czech duo and No.6 seeds, Lucie Hradecka and Katerina Siniakova, 6-2, 6-3.