World no. 1, Simona Halep breezed into the the semi-finals of the Shenzhen Open on Thursday with an easy 6-2, 6-2 victory over Aryna Sabalenka.
Halep’s 3-6, 6-1, 6-2 win over local favorite Duan Yingying on Wednesday ensured she will retain the No. 1 ranking for the Australian Open.
In the other match played earlier today, Thursday former world no. 1, Maria Sharapova also advanced to the semi-finals of the Shenzhen Open with a comfortable 6-3, 6-3 victory over Kazakhstan’s Zarina Divas.
“I didn’t play my best tennis, and there’s certainly a lot of things to improve on,” Sharapova said afterwards.
“The great thing is that I’m through and have another chance to play tomorrow.”
The five-time Grand Slam champion was never really in trouble against Diyas, who is 66 in the world, and will face either of the Czech pair Kristyna Pliskova or Katerina Siniakova in the last four in southern China.