Simona Halep mowed down Anett Kontaveit 6-1, 6-1 on Wednesday to take a perfect record into the semi-finals of the Australian Open.

The Romanian, a former No. 1, had not lost a set so far – the only one of the quarter-finalist who can make that claim.

Simona Halep  celebrates her quarter final win. Photo Anne Parker International Sports Fotos Ltd/Alamy Live News

The one-way rout in less than an hour lifts Halep’s 2020 record to 6-1; the third seed hammered 12 winners and 10 unforced errors as she broke her Estonian opponent five times.

Halep, who dropped the 2018 final here to the now-retired Caroline Wozniacki, will next clash with Garbine Muguruza, who defeated Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 7-5, 6-3.

The 28-year-old Romanian could barely contain her current confidence.

“”Perfection doesn’t exist, but I’m very happy with the way I played,” Halep said.

“I felt great on court. I was moving great, I felt the ball, really, really good. It was a great match.

“I feel more energy going to the semi-finals. I feel more confident. I feel my game.

“Tomorrow is going to be a tough one, I know that. But it’s semi-finals, so it should be like that. I’m all in. I’m confident.”

 

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova couldn’t stop the Muguruza onslaught. Photo Anne Parker International Sports Fotos Ltd/Alamy Live News

Halep stands 1-4 against Spain’s Muguruza, like herself, a titleholder at Roland Garros and Paris in recent seasons.

The Spaniard will be competing in her first semi here after hitting the fourth round three times.

Muguruza twice recovered from a break down in the opening set against Pavyluchenkova.

 

Garbine Muguruza dominated her quarter final match. Photo Anne Parker International Sports Fotos Ltd/Alamy Live News

“You have to adapt to the circumstances, even if you are not feeling your game so well,” Muguruza said.

“i had to fight and stay in there. That set was hard, it lasted almost an hour.

“It was a very important set and I’m happy I got it.”

Halep won the pair’s last match, the 2018 Paris semi-final whee the Romanian went onto lift the trophy.

Muguruza won four of their first five meetings, including the 2017 Cincinnati final.

Garbine Muguruza wins her quarter final match in straight sets over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. Photo Roger Parker International Sports Fotos Ltd

There will be little rest for the semi-final pair, who square off on Thursday.

“I’m happy to play rather than wait another day,” Muguruza said. “I’m excited to play my first semi-final here.

“I’ve known Simona’s game for a long time, it won’t be easy.”


Simona Halep eased her way into the semi finals in straight sets. Photo Roger Parker International Sports Fotos Ltd
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