The two semi final matches at the Mutua Madrid Open were played on Saturday afternoon. The first was between 5th seeded Petra Kvitova and 4th seeded Simona Halep. The Czech leftie benefitted from Serena Williams’ withdrawal in the quarters after battling through two three setters in the first two rounds, followed by a straight sets win against Lucie Safarova in the 3rd round. Halep lost just ten games in her first two rounds, followed by a three setter against Sabine Lisicki and an easy 6-2 6-2 rout of Ana Ivanovic in the quarters.
Kvitova got the first break of the match in the 6th game of the first set to lead 4-2, but Halep broke back to level at 4-4. Games then went with serve to a breaker, where the Czech led 4-0 before eventually taking it 7-4 in a set littered with numerous elementary errors and brilliant winners on her part. Halep looked tired at the beginning of the second set and was broken immediately. She won the 3rd game to trail 1-2 and then broke back to level at 3-3 and took the next three games for the set at 6-3, as Kvitova’s unforced error count soared. The Roumanian broke in the first game of the decider and led 2-0 before Kvitova took the 3rd game. The next three games went with serve before Halep broke for 5-2 and served out the set at 6-2. Kvitov’a winner/unforced error count was 37/66, while Halep’s was 24/22 – and Halep also took the ace/double fault stat with 8 to 2, against Kvitova’s 5 and 5.