New York: Romanian second seed Simona Halep advanced to her first US Open semi-final on Wednesday by defeating two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka of Belarus 6-3, 4-6, 6-4.
Romania's Simona Halep of celebrates after defeating Belarus' Victoria Azarenka on Wednesday. Pic/AFP
Halep advanced to a Thursday semi-final against Italy's 26th-ranked Flavia Pennetta, who upset Czech fifth seed Petra Kvitova, a two-time Wimbledon winner, by 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 in another quarter-final. Pennetta has a 3-1 career edge in matches against Halep.
'Wanted to go for it'
"I don't know where I found the power to win this match," Halep said. "I'm really happy because I really wanted to go to my first semi-final here," she added.
Halep returned from a third-set rain break and blasted an ace to level at 2-2. Azarenka sent a backhand wide to hand Halep a break and a 4-3 lead and they held serve to the end, which came when Azarenka sent a forehand long after two hours and 40 minutes.