Montreal: Romania’s Simona Halep rallied for a 3-6, 6-1, 6-1 victory over Svetlana Kuznetsova on Friday to set up a semi-final showdown with Angelique Kerber at the WTA Montreal tournament.
Halep, seeded fifth, will have a chance to avenge her quarter-final Wimbledon defeat at the hands of Australian Open champion Kerber, who reached the final four in Montreal with an emphatic 6-2, 6-2 victory over teenager Daria Kasatinka.
“It was very tough, I feel really tired now, she played very well and she’s very strong so I knew it was going to be like this,” Halep said.
“All I can say is that I’m very happy I could win against her, because we always have tough matches.”
Once Halep shook off some early nerves, she was able to pressure the Russian veteran’s serve and was rewarded when Kuznetsova surrendered an early break in the second set with a double fault.
Halep seized control for good with an early break in the third to keep alive her hopes of improving on her runner-up finish in Canada last year — when she retired from the final against Belinda Bencic with an illness.
While Kerber encountered little resistance against Russia’s Kasatinka she said Halep would be another matter.
“It’s going to be tough,” Kerber said. “We’ve played a lot of good matches in the past.”
In the day’s other quarter-finals, world No. 121 Kristina Kucova’s fairytale run continued on Friday night with a straight set win over 15th seeded Johanna Konta.
The Slovakian qualifier, who ousted Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard in the third round, fashioned a 6-4, 6-3 victory to end Konta’s impressive recent run and quash her hopes of becoming the first British player in 32 years to reach the top 10.
Kucova’s win sets up a semi-final clash with tenth seeded Madison Keys who defeated Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 7-6 (7/3), 1-6, 6-0.
“I cannot believe it, I’m so happy. There is no secret to my success, I feel so good here, I get so much energy from the crowd,” Kucova said. “Although I’m already a bit tired but they help me through.”