Simona Halep closes on WTA top spot with China Open rout | tennis | Hindustan Times
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Simona Halep closes on WTA top spot with China Open rout

Simona Halep of Romania, beat Russia’s unseeded Daria Kasatkina 6-2, 6-1 in the China Open quarterfinals in Beijing and will face compatriot Sorana Cirstea or Latvia’s Jelena Ostapenko next.

tennis Updated: Oct 06, 2017 12:11 IST
Simona Halep of Romania returns to Daria Kasatkina of Russia during the women’s singles quarterfinals at the China Open tennis tournament in Beijing on Friday.
Simona Halep of Romania returns to Daria Kasatkina of Russia during the women’s singles quarterfinals at the China Open tennis tournament in Beijing on Friday.(AFP)

Simona Halep took a step nearer overhauling Garbine Muguruza as WTA world No 1 when the Romanian raced into the semifinals of the China Open tennis tournament in Beijing on Friday.

The second-ranked Halep eased past Russia’s unseeded Daria Kasatkina 6-2, 6-1 in Beijing and will face compatriot Sorana Cirstea or Latvia’s Jelena Ostapenko in the last four.

The Spaniard Muguruza’s short stay at the top is under severe threat after she bowed out in the first round in the Chinese capital with a virus.

Halep is in red-hot form and claimed the scalp of former number one Maria Sharapova in the previous round -- beating the Russian at the eighth attempt.

On Thursday, Petra Kvitova claimed a third consecutive win over Caroline Wozniacki, seeing off the fifth seed 6-1, 6-4, while Elina Svitolina dashed Elena Vesnina’s hopes of reaching the WTA Finals by beating the Russian 6-2, 7-5.

Caroline Garcia continued her outstanding form with a 6-2, 6-1 success over Alize Cornet in an all-French affair to keep her hopes of qualifying for the season-ending tournament in Singapore alive and Barbora Strycova thrashed Daria Gavrilova 6-0, 6-4.