Simona Halep. Picture: REUTERS
Simona Halep. Picture: REUTERS

Paris — World No1 Simona Halep won a bruising quarterfinal battle against Germany’s Angelique Kerber 6-7(2) 6-3 6-2 to book a place against Garbine Muguruza in the French Open semifinals.

Halep started slowly, spraying shots wide as she lost the first four games of the match against the No12 seed who hit her early groundstrokes with lethal accuracy.

But the Romanian clawed her way back into the contest, winning three straight games as both players struggled to hold on to their serves in a monster opening set that swung one way and then the next.

Kerber eventually prevailed in a tiebreak, but Halep came out all guns blazing in the second, firing baseline bullets at her opponent, who tried to cling on against the onslaught.

But by the third set Halep had broken down the German’s defences — and her resolve.

"It’s always a tough match when I play against her. After the first set I just stayed strong and didn’t give up," Halep told the court Suzanne Lenglen crowd.

"I missed a lot in the beginning. I tried to do too much. I changed the tactics a bit and it worked."

Muguruza made short work to seal a comfortable 6-2 6-1 win over Maria Sharapova in just 70min to advance to the semis and remain on course for her third Grand Slam title.

The Spaniard, won the 2016 French Open.