29 January 2020

Simona Halep wins 11 games on trot to defeat Anett Kontaveit in just 54 mins, setting up semi-final with Garbine Muguruza at Australian Open

Simona Halep advanced to her second Australian Open semi-final after crushing Estonia's Anett Kontaveit in just 54 minutes.

The Romanian wasted no time in moving into the last four in Melbourne as she dropped just two games on her way to a 6-1 6-1 victory.

After Kontaveit held her serve in the opening game of the match, Halep went on a remarkable run as she took the next 11 games to ease into the last four with what was a devastating display of scintillating tennis.

After the match, the former French Open and Wimbledon winner said: "I felt great on court. I feel strong in my legs and I knew how to play against her. I was focused in every point I played."

Halep is looking to go one better than at the 2018 Australian Open final when she lost to Caroline Wozniacki.

In order to reach another final, she will have to beat another two-time Slam champion in Garbine Muguruza for a place in Saturday's final after the Spaniard beat Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 7-5 6-3 in one hour and 35 minutes.

In an unpredictable first set, the pair shared four breaks of serve before Muguruza managed to get the better of Pavlyuchenkova's serve at the end of the set to take the opener.

And despite relinquishing her serve at the start of the second, the double Wimbledon champion recovered to take five of the next six games and book her place in the semi-finals.

"I'm excited to play my first semi-final here. I've known her [Halep] for quite a long time so it's going to be a tough match."

The winner of Halep-Muguruza will face the victor of the other semi-final which sees home favourite and world No 1 Ashleigh Barty come up against American Sofia Kenin.

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