Halep battles back in style to beat Kerber

Simona Halep

World No 1 Simona Halep proved an increasingly tough nut to crack at Roland Garros on Wednesday, as she battled back from a set down to defeat former No 1 Angelique Kerber.

After a poor opening set, Halep was able to turn her fortunes around and secure a hard-fought 6-7 (2-7), 6-3, 6-2 victory in two hours and 16 minutes.

Kerber started like a house on fire and seemed to catch both Halep and the crowd by surprise, with neither expecting the German to seize two straight breaks for a 4-0 lead.

That kind of dominance would be short-lived, however, as Halep went on a run of her own, winning five of the next six games to tie it up at 5-5.

The players exchanged breaks again before Kerber appeared to re-take the initiative with a superb performance in the tie-break, winning it comfortably to go one set up.

Halep could have gotten dejected after all her hard work to get back in the match was undone by a couple of poor errors in the tie-break, but she did not let her head drop.

The Romanian went straight back on the offensive at the start of the second set, breaking and consolidating for a 2-0 lead.

Kerber was unable to find a way back into the set, and she came under more pressure while serving to stay in it at 3-5.

Halep piled on the pressure, earning four break and set points, and while Kerber did superbly to save the first three, she tamely surrendered the fourth with a double fault to allow Halep to tie the scores.

The third set saw Halep grow even more dominant, claiming three breaks to one to seal a deserved win and set up a blockbuster semi-final clash with World No 3 Garbine Muguruza.

Earlier, Muguruza reached the last four with a 6-2, 6-1 demolition of Maria Sharapova.

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