Halep remains on course

Defending champion Simona Halep remains on course to retain the Madrid Open title after a convincing 6-1 6-1 quarter-final win over Coco Vandeweghe to set up a last-four encounter with Anastasija Sevastova who beat Kiki Bertens 6-3 6-3 to make her first career semi-final.

"It puts me in the way to understand that it's much better to stay relaxed, just calm, not talking and doing other stuff on court

"In the last five weeks I feel different. I keep more energy in this way," Halep said following her easy victory. "It puts me in the way to understand that it’s much better to stay relaxed, just calm, not talking and doing other stuff on court."

Number 14 seed Kristina Mladenovic reached her second semi-final in her last three appearances after beating Romanian wildcard Sorana Cirstea 6-4 6-4.

"That was a tricky one," she said. "I think it was the first time we both played with the roof closed. It was a different kind of match because it feels like it’s indoors, so the ball is going a little bit faster."

Svetlana Kuznetsova completed the semi-final line-up with a 6-4 6-0 win over Eugenie Bouchard, Maria SharapovaŠ—Ès second round conqueror who, in the previous round, also ousted Angelique Kerber who retired with a thigh injury when trailing 6-3 5-0.






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