Simona Halep may have yet to win a Grand Slam but she produced more evidence that she has every possible chance at the upcoming French Open with another dominant display on clay.
The world number two beat fellow Romanian Alexandra Dulgheru with such consummate ease that confirms she has every chance of winning here in Rome this year to set herself up for Roland Garros.
The eventual scoreline 61 60 told its own story as to the standard of the performance. Indeed Halep has dropped just seven games all week, having also beaten American great Venus Williams in the third round.
“I feel very good, actually,” she said afterwards. “I played a good tennis today and I was aggressive and I made a few winners. My serve was pretty good today. Yesterday against Venus I played very relaxed and I was focused for every ball.
“It was a good match and gave me more confidence that I can reach the semi finals or finals here in this tournament.
“Today it was a pretty good match, I was very solid, and she was tired as well because she had many long matches before today. I had an advantage I can say and I was more solid than her.
“I feel much better now than last week. I feel the clay, I feel the game on clay, I feel ready to go in French Open, to start the Grand Slam. But first I want just to think about this tournament, to finish it and then I will see what is happening with Roland Garros. But I feel good on clay and my game is getting better day by day.”
Halep will next play Carla Suarez Navarro who beat Petra Kvitova for the third time in 2015 by a 63 62 scoreline.
“She is a complete player,” said Suarez Navarro on the semi-final challenge. “I need to be focused on my game and fight and to do my best.”
In the all-qualifier affair, Russia’s Daria Gavrilova edged out America’s Christina McHale 62 64.