Match reports

Halep returns to semi-finals following Putintseva retirement

This content was published 4 years ago. It may refer to a past edition of the Internazionali d’Italia.

Simona Halep advanced to the semi-finals at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia for the fifth time after Yulia Putinstseva retired from their last eight clash with a lower back injury.

Halep was in total control of the match when at 6-2 2-0 the Kazakh player, who hadn’t appeared obviously hampered by injury, ended their match. It marks a 12th consecutive victory for the Romanian who has won the last two tournaments she has contested at Dubai and Prague.

The top seed needed 31 minutes to take the opening set which started competitively but once Halep had fended off the early threat and secured a break there was no stopping her. Halep’s trademark speed around the court and touch on the ball proved too much for Putintseva, who had spent seven hours 22 minutes on court this week in comparison to two hours 50 minutes for the two-time Grand Slam champion.

The world No.30 played well and made good use of her drop shot but couldn’t compete with the world No.2. The second set looked to be starting off the same way as the first, with a couple tight opening games, but once Putintseva was broken in her first game she walked to the other side of the court and stopped the match.

“Well, I’m really pleased with the game I did. I felt really good on court. I felt much better than previous match. Of course it’s a different style, but still is not easy to play against Yulia all the time, so I had to be very focused and to do my job, my plan,” said Halep.

“It was really good that I didn’t miss much, and I felt like I feel the court. So I could move her and I could open the court so well. Serve was great. The return was not great, but still, I take it as a very good match. Maybe the best of this tournament.”

Halep will face either No.9 seed Garbine Muguruza or the in-form Victoria Azarenka in Sunday’s semi-final.

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