Halep closes in on No 1 ranking in China

Simona Halep

Simona Halep sailed into the China Open semi-finals on Friday to further close in on the World No 1 ranking.

Halep’s quarter-final opponent Daria Kasatkina proved no match for the Romanian on the day, going down 6-2, 6-1 in just 70 minutes.

With current World No 1 Garbine Muguruza forced to pull out of the event earlier in the week due to a virus, it has given Halep the chance to unseat her at the top of the rankings, should she go all the way in Beijing this week.

Awaiting her in the semi-finals is ninth seed Jelena Ostapenko, the young Latvian who sensationally defeated Halep in the French Open final earlier in the year.

Ostapenko defeated Sorana Cirstea 6-4, 6-4 in her quarter-final on Friday.

The second semi-final sees two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova take on last week’s champion in Wuhan, Caroline Garcia.

Kvitova was a 6-3, 6-4 winner over Barbora Strycova, while Garcia fought back from a set down to defeat Elina Svitolina 6-7 (5-7), 7-5, 7-6 (8-6).