Simona Halep Reaches First Australian Open Semi-Final

Roger Federer Australian Open Tomas Berdych

The top seed dominated the Czech completely and took just about an hour and 11 minutes to win 6-3, 6-2 and reach her maiden senior semi-final at the Melbourne Park.

She managed to recover just enough to beat former Canadian rising star Eugenie Bouchard in the second round (6-2, 6-2), and then had a marathon match against American Lauren Davis, which she won after nearly four hours (4-6, 6-4, 15-13).

"I'm feeling the ball really good and I was enjoying the match", the 30-year-old said.

"Women's tennis has evolved a lot, but I think everyone plays decent level, really good level", Mertens said after she overwhelmed Svitolina.

He added: "I started to open the court and get a read on her serve".

The big-hitting Osaka had her chances, notably in the fifth game of the first set when she squandered five points to break the Halep serve.

In another match, former champion Angelique Kerber was driven to distraction by the unorthodox game of World No. 88 Hsieh Su-wei but overhauled the Taiwanese 4-6, 7-5, 6-2 to seal her last eight spot.

Angelique Kerber, the 2016 Australian Open champion, made her way back to the semi-final after a ruthless win over 17th seeded Madison Keys in their quarter-final on Wednesday.

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It has been quite a return to form for Kerber in Australia this year after she broke a 27-tournament title drought going back to her 2016 U.S. Open triumph in the Sydney International warm-up.

"Chilling, doing nothing", Halep said of her plans for tonight. Angelique Kerber of Germany shakes hands with Madison Keys of the USA after Kerber won their match. "I had a tough off-season, and right now I try to enjoy it". "I served well so everything went pretty well for me". And once her opponents make a few mistakes, they tend to lose confidence and make more. "Now I'm just trying to play everything I have and to play the best to win it". I just was very strong on the return.

Keys said: "She obviously is unbelievable at getting lots of balls back and makes you feel like you have to go for bigger shots than you would against other players, because she's going to get two, three more balls".

For Keys the final indignity came as, serving to stay in the tournament, she opened with back-to-back double faults. "I feel it but I'm trying not to think about it and give it everything".

Halep does have an ankle niggle, but most players would not be 100% at this stage of a grand slam.

"I think was a great match", said the Romanian.

"And I know all the places in Melbourne where I can go for, let's say, a coffee or just when I have a day off".

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