Italian Open: Halep through to semis

Simona Halep, after her straight set win over Anett Kontaveit, will play Dutch 15th seed Kiki Bertens.

Simona Halep had it easy in the Italian Open quarterfinal with a straight-set win   -  AFP

Romanian sixth seed Simona Halep swept into the semifinals of the Italian Open in Rome by beating Estonian qualifier Anett Kontaveit 6-2 6-4 on Friday.

She will now play Dutch 15th seed Kiki Bertens, who saw off Australian qualifier Daria Gavrilova 6-3 6-3, in Saturday's semifinal on the red Foro Italico clay.

"Today was a good match, but I can say that I could finish earlier in the second set," said Halep, who raced to a 3-0 lead in the first set and broke Kontaveit in the opening game of the second before winning.

"But she turned it a little bit around... she came back for a few games, and she played really, really well."

Eighth seeded Ukrainian Elina Svitolina beat Czech second seed Karolina Pliskova 6-2, 7-6(9) and will meet either third seed and French Open champion Garbine Muguruza or ninth seed Venus Williams in the last four.

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