World no. 1 Simona Halep shook off a shaky start to dismantle former world no. 1 Karolina Pliskova in their Australian Open quarter-final on Wednesday.
Halep trailed 3-0 in the opening set, but regained composure in good time, reeling off nine games in a row as she raced away to a 6-3 6-2 victory to become the first Romanian woman to reach the semi-finals in Melbourne.
The Romanian advances to face 2016 champion Angelique Kerber in the semi-finals after the German crushed American Madison Keys in one of the most one-sided affairs of the tournament earlier on Wednesday.
“It’s nice to be in the semis,” Halep, who’s in search of a maiden Grand Slam title, said on court.
“I started to open the court and get a read on her serve.”
Earlier, 2016 Australian Open champion, Angelique Kerber thrashed America’s Madison Keys 6-1 6-2 in only 51 minutes and says she expects a tough semi-final encounter.
“I think if I play against Simona, I think it will be a long match with a lot of long rallies,” the German said.
“I played against her a lot of times, and it was always tough and close.”
Going into the semis, Halep will have two things on her mind — the no. 1 ranking and a maiden Grand Slam title. And with Germany’s Kerber having regained the ruthlessness that once saw her at the zenith of women’s tennis, we might just be in for the match of the tournament on Thursday. Mouthwatering!