Halep reaches China Open tennis semis

How Johanna Konta can still reach the WTA Finals in Singapore

Ostapenko is the more powerful of the two, so Halep will have to defend, though the Romanian should look to frustrate the Latvian by forcing her to play extra shots in as many points as possible.

Second seed Simona Halep has moved into the China Open semi-finals to keep alive her hopes of reaching the No.1 ranking with a 6-2 6-1 win over Daria Kasatkina. This time she won in an hour and 12 minutes. In the oldest matchup between quarterfinalists, Kvitova showed the same brilliant form that gave her the second Top 10 win of season (after No.3 Muguruza at US Open) and 350th main draw victory of career over No.6 Wozniacki. I'm really happy that I could do this. On the court I felt pretty slow.

"I expect a tough one, but it's going to be a big challenge either way, so I have to think what I have to play against them, and just try to do my job like I did today", she said.

The 104th-ranked Russian, who returned from a 15-month doping ban in April, was coming off two grueling matches to begin the tournament.

Her 24 consecutive win against a Czech opponent brought her to the semifinals of the China Open for the third time.

Halep survived a break point in the opening game before powering her way to a 5-0 lead with two breaks of her own as Rybarikova struggled on serve and committed 19 unforced errors en route to conceding the first set. "I wasn't as sharp".

"She was hitting the ball consistently, not making a lot of unforced errors, her service percentage was quite high. Credit to her, she kept me back there with her consistency".

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Halep, who past year was defeated in the round of 16 in Beijing, won 149,138 United States dollars and 215 WTA singles points.

Third seed Elina Svitolina defeated in-form Australian Ashleigh Barty 6-4 6-2.

Halep goes through to the quarter-finals where she will face Kasatkina, who started slowly but grew in confidence to see off Radwanska 4-6 7-5 6-2.

Kvitova, who produced 33 winners offset by 43 unforced errors, said she was exhausted but very happy with the victory, and will meet Caroline Garcia in the last four.

Svitolina advances to face Indian Wells champion Elena Vesnina of Russian Federation for a spot in the quarterfinals.

Halep has never been No.1 but has had a few missed opportunities, most notably in June's French Open final loss to Jelena Ostapenko.

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