Halep Cruises Into Prague Open Semis

STARNBERG, August 14, 2020

The first three players advanced to the semi-finals of the Prague Open before play was called off for the remainder of the day due to bad weather. Top seed Simona Halep booked her spot in the stage of the last four following a comfortable 6-2, 6-0 victory over Polish lucky loser Madgalena Frech on Friday.

The World No. 2 from Romania capitalized on six of her 12 break point chances to finish the encounter in just under one hour of play.

“The whole game… was better today,” a pleased Halep assessed afterwards, quoted by the WTA website. The 28-year-old had to go the distance in her previous two matches against Polona Hercog of Slovenia and Czech Barbora Krejcikova. “I think I hit the ball stronger, I opened the court better and I finished some drive volleys. I’m happy that I can play better and better day by day. It was a good one and I’ll take it.” 

Halep will take on either compatriot Irina-Camelia Begu or Sara Sorribes Tormo of Spain. Their match was suspended in the second set with the Romanian leading 6-2, 0-1.

Elise Mertens ended the run of Canadian wild card entry Eugenie Bouchard, winning 6-4, 1-6, 6-4. The No. 3 seed from Belgium won two points more than her opponent to secure victory in two hours and 17 minutes.

“I think the difference was physical, mental, maybe more mentally at the end,” said Mertens, who has made it into her first semi-final of the season. “The games were pretty close, The first set was pretty close, in the second set she played really well, made fewer mistakes, became more aggressive, but I think at the end, it was just that one break. Just one service game made the difference.”

Up next for the 24-year-old will be Kristyna Pliskova from the Czech Republic, who benefited from the retirement of Ana Bogdan of Romania, trailing 2-5 in the opening set. Bogdan