Halep: Rain delay was fortuitous

Simona Halep claims the rain delay during the third set of her US Open quarter-final agains Victoria Azarenka came at a perfect time for her.

The Romanian won the first set 6-3 but lost her way somewhat thereafter and went down 4-6 in the second to the Belarusian. Azarenka then found herself a break of serve up in the third when play was halted at Flushing Meadows.

Upon resumption, Halep quickly broke back and then booked her place in the semi-finals in New York City for the first time when she broke serve for a second time to win the decider 6-4.

"I'm happy that I won this match," Halep told reporters after the match.

"It was an amazing match. She played fantastic, but in the first set I played my best tennis, and I knew that I have, you know, I have the game to win the match. But I know also that she's very strong and she doesn't give up during the matches.

"The rain delay was perfect for me. It was unbelievable that I had another chance. So I said in the gym with my coach, I spoke and I said that I have another chance. So I have to go just to do everything I did in first set and to get this one, because it's made for me."

Azarenka, meanwhile, said she was particularly surprised by the amount of pace Halep got on the ball during the match.

"I think I played well," Azarenka noted.

"I believe I could have played better. I did really fight really hard, and I was trying to find solutions.

"She played really well today. I was a little bit surprised by the pace of her ball to be honest. I think that, you know, a couple of free points that I gave away today cost me the match a little bit."

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