Simona Halep beats Anett Kontaveit to cruise into the semifinals in Rome
Simona Halep is the first player to reach the semifinal at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia after beating Estonian rising star Anett Kontaveit 6-2 6-4.
Halep, who beat Kontaveit in Miami last March, went up a double break in the first and third games to open up a 3-0 lead. Kontaveit recovered one of the two breaks on the third opportunity to get her first game on the scoreboard with a backhand winner down the line. Halep converted on her third opportunity in the fifth game for 4-1. Kontaveit held her serve in the seventh game at deuce after saving two break points. Halep served out the first set to 30 in 34 minutes.
Halep went up a double break in the fifth game to race out to a 4-1 lead. Kontaveit broke back to 15 in the sixth game for 2-4 with another backhand. Kontaveit battled from the baseline to make the second set more competitive and saved two match points in the final game but Halep closed out the match at deuce, as the Estonian fired a backhand wide. Halep already reached the semifinals in Rome in 2013, when she started from the qualifying round, and in 2015.
The Romanian player has scored her ninth consecutive match win, a streak that includes her last week’s title in Madrid. She will face either Kiki Bertens or Daria Gavrilova in tomorrow’s semifinal.
“Today was a good match, but I can say that I could finish earlier in the second set but I have missed that short ball. I went a little bit down. She turned it a little bit around. She came back for few games, and she played really well”, said Halep.