Simona Halep is through to the semi-final round of the Shenzhen Open, where she will contest a Friday match-up against the only Chinese player remaining in the draw, Zheng Saisai. This will serve as the first meeting between the two competitors and will likely follow the trajectory of Halep’s earlier matches at this event.
The Romanian needed three sets to win her first match but has since had no trouble finding her form again. Against Aleksandra Krunic, Halep needed just over an hour to prevail 6-3, 6-3. She won 69% of her first service points and saved three break points to secure her spot in the final four.
“The match was good – I played better than the last few rounds – and I’m looking forward to playing the semifinals,” Halep said. “My game is getting better day by day. I want to improve match by match and see how far I can go here.”
Halep will next meet Zheng Saisai, who picked up an impressive upset win over fourth seed Zarina Diyas. Zheng rallied from a set down to win the match 3-6, 7-6(2), 6-2 in 2 hours and 39 minutes. It was a close call for the Chinese player, as she was within a few points away from defeat. However, she showed mental fortitude and eventually found her openings in the third and final set, where she won 13/18 first service points and 6/8 second service points to win the match.
This marks the first time that Halep and Zheng will cross paths on the professional tour, and appears to be a match-up tailor-made for the Romanian. While Zheng is a scrappy player, Halep is far more well-rounded and has a bigger game. Barring any shenanigans, the top seed should win the contest in straight sets and advance to the final in Shenzhen.
Prediction: Simona Halep in Straight Sets