No. 4 seed Simona Halep and surprise No. 28 seed Andrea Petkovic advanced to a French Open semifinal meeting after wins Wednesday at Roland Garros.
Halep kept down former French Open champ and No. 27 seed Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-2, 6-2, while Petkovic upset former Roland Garros finalist and No. 10 seed Sara Errani 6-2, 6-2.
Kuzentsova had her left thigh heavily strapped for the second set, and the heavy conditions after a rain delay favored the baseline control of Halep.
“Maybe it wasn’t her best performance, but I’m really happy that I could play my game and to win against her, because she’s a great player,” Halep said. “Now I can look forward for the next round because it’s my first semifinal at a Grand Slam and I have to be very focused, very calm, and to try to do everything on court to get the win.”
The weak Errani serve was also made even more vulnerable by the slow, wet conditions, putting Petkovic in the semifinals 12 months after she lost in the Roland Garros qualifying in 2013.
“I had a very good game plan from my coach. It didn’t work right at the beginning, so I was getting a little not panicked, but, you know, maybe a little worried,” Petkovic said. “But, I trust my coach a great deal, so I told myself, ‘Stick with it for this set. If it doesn’t work out, you can still change something. If it works out, then keep going.’ Luckily, I started playing better and started winning. I was trying to be very aggressive on her serve and to get into the net and just make pressure visually on her.”
Both Halep and Petkovic are in their first Grand Slam semifinals, and Halep leads Petkovic 2-1 in their career meetings.
Thursday at Roland Garros will feature both women’s semifinals, (7) Maria Sharapova vs. (18) Eugenie Bouchard, and (4) Simona Halep vs. (28) Andrea Petkovic.
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