Simona Halep and Garbine Muguruza rolled into the Australian Open semifinals Wednesday afternoon in Melbourne.
The 2018 finalist Halep tore through Estonian Anett Kontaveit 6-1, 6-1 in under an hour.
“It’s a pleasure to play in Australia and I’m really happy to play my best tennis and go through to the semifinals,” Halep told the crowd.
“I felt great today on court, I feel my game, I feel strong on my legs and I knew how to play against her. I’ve just been focused on every game I played, and I really enjoy playing here in Melbourne.”
Halep hasn’t lost a set and has looked sharp. And she’s back with coach Darren Cahill who guided her to previous Grand Slam glory.
“Darren has been very important since I met him five years ago,” Halep said. “We worked hard on my attitude and on my game, and today I am a better person and a better player, so I thank him for the help he gave me. Here in Australia, I can say it’s my second home, I feel part of this community because I have a coach from Australia.”
Kontaveit was pleased to have reached her first Slam quarterfinal.
“I think I can be really proud of myself. I mean, I was out for months and like three months ago I couldn’t even jog,” Kontaveit said.
“Being in the quarterfinals for the first time, I’m so happy with that achievement.
“Simona played an incredible match. I was trying to do everything. I mean, she was just so strong today. I couldn’t find a weapon. I was trying to be aggressive, but couldn’t hit through her. It was difficult.”
Like Simona Halep, Garbine Muguruza has also twice tasted victory at the highest of levels, and she kept her hopes alive for another big trophy by dismissing Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 7-5, 6-3.
Under new coach Conchita Martinez, Muguruza is now 10-1 on the season and is back in a Slam semifinal for the 5th time, first since the 2018 French Open when she lost to Halep.
Muguruza, though, is 3-0 on hard courts against the Romanian. Neither has ever won a hard court Slam.
In the first match, home favorite Ash Barty battles the Cinderella Sofia Kenin. Barty leads the 21-year-old American 4-1 with Barty wins last year at Wuhan and the French. Kenin upset the Australian in Canada.
“An exceptional competitor as well,” Barty said of Kenin. “Loves to put herself out there, test herself on the biggest stage. Have played her a number of times now, with some results going both ways. She has a great knack of controlling the court from the center of the court and being that first-strike player. It’s going to be important for me to try and nullify that if I can.”
You Might Like:
Barty Gets Revenge On Kvitova, Reaches Australian Open SF; Halep, Muguruza Wed. Favorites
No. 1 Barty, Four Former Champions Featured In Doha; Halep Withdraws
Cinderella Kenin Ends Barty Party At Australian Open, Will Meet Muguruza For Title
Stunning Kenin Captures Australian Open Title Over Muguruza
Halep, Muguruza Storm Into Australian QFs; Barty Out For Revenge On Kvitova