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Tennis: Halep reaches first Slam semi-final, faces Petkovic

Fourth-seeded Romanian Simona Halep reached her first Grand Slam semi-final with a 6-2, 6-2 win over former champion Svetlana Kuznetsova at the French Open on Wednesday.

PARIS: Fourth-seeded Romanian Simona Halep reached her first Grand Slam semi-final with a 6-2, 6-2 win over former champion Svetlana Kuznetsova at the French Open on Wednesday.

Halep, 22, goes on to face Germany's Andrea Petkovic, who will also be appearing in her first semi-final at a major, for a place in Saturday's title match.

Halep had never previously got beyond the second round in Paris but she was too strong for her 28-year-old opponent who won her second career major at Roland Garros in 2009.

Kuznetsova, the 27th seed, was never able to sustain a serious challenge after having her left thigh heavily strapped at the end of the first set.

Halep, who was the 2008 junior champion at Roland Garros, is bidding to become just the second Romanian woman to triumph in Paris after her manager Virginia Ruzici took the 1978 title.

In a match delayed by three hours because of heavy rain, Halep broke for 2-0 in the first set and although Kuznetsova evened the contest at 2-2, that was as good as it got for the Russian.

Halep reeled off the next four games to take the first set and from 1-0 down in the second, she stretched out to a 5-2 lead.

She overcame a nervy final service game where she served up two double faults, before coming through when Kuznetsova netted a forehand return.

The other semi-final on Thursday will feature Maria Sharapova, the 2012 champion, against Canada's Eugenie Bouchard.

Men's quarter finals:
Rafael Nadal (ESP) bt David Ferrer (ESP) 4-6, 6-4, 6-0, 6-1
Andy Murray (GBR) bt Gael Monfils (FRA) 6-4, 6-1, 4-6, 1-6, 6-0

Women's quarter-finals:
Simona Halep (ROM) bt Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) 6-2, 6-2
Andrea Petkovic (GER) bt Sara Errani (ITA) 6-2, 6-2

Mixed doubles semi-finals:
Anna-Lena Groenefeld/Jean-Julien (GER/AHO) bt Yaroslava Shvedova/Bruno Soares (KAZ/BRA) 3-6, 7-6 (7/4), 10-5
Julia Georges/Nenad Zimonjic (GER/SRB) bt Timea Babos/Eric Butorac (HUN/USA) 6-2, 6-2

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