Simona Halep’s struggles continued Tuesday in Miami. The Romanian who once was the next big thing in women’s tennis was stunned in three sets by former French semifinalist Timea Bacsinszky 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 in the Miami quarterfinals.
“I came back from a long road,” the Swiss said after. “The first set was really tough. She’s an awesome player and a great fighter.
“For the last year, she has also been an inspiration for me because I believe in hard work and she’s one of the players who work really hard, so to be able to play that well against her and to catch the win is really amazing.
“I’m really happy with the win.”
Now ranked No. 5, Halep hasn’t been to a final since Cincinnati last summer and hasn’t won a title since Indian Wells over a year ago.
In her first Miami semifinal, Bacsinszky will play 2006 Miami champion Svetlana Kuznetsova on Thursday. Kuznetsova beat Russian countryman Ekaterina Makarova 6-7, 6-4, 6-3. Kuznetsova led 5-2, 40-0 before losing the first set. But she shook off the choke to advance.
On tap Wednesday, 2-time winner Victoria Azarenka meets Johanna Konta. The Brit won their lone meeting last September in Wuhan via a retirement. Azarenka has won 19 of 20 matches this year including her last nine.
“We have played in Wuhan last year, but it was difficult to consider that a full match since I didn’t really feel physically well or wasn’t good on the court,” said Azarenka who had a leg injury in that match.
“But it’s really impressive to see how much she improved over the last couple months. Obviously had some great results; playing with a lot of confidence. She has a very solid game; big serve. I’m just looking forward to that challenge. I think for me it’s going to be our first meeting, but I’m looking forward to that.”
In the night match, American Madison Keys collides with Australian Open champion Angelique Kerber. The German has won three of four against Keys taking their most recent meeting in the Charleston final last year.
“Madison is a great young player,” said Kerber who is the highest ranked player left in the event. “She plays great matches against me and we’ve had tough battles in the past. I’m looking forward. She’s at home here, and I will just try to take the challenge against her and play a good match.”
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