Maria is through to the semis of the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati after a hard-fought win over No.2 seed Simona Halep of Romania for her fifth consecutive win over the second ranked player in the world. Maria won 3-6 6-4 6-4 in two hours and 32 minutes.
Maria got off to a slow start on Grandstand as Halep led 4-1 and won the first set 6-3.
In the second set, Halep went up 2-0 but Maria came roaring back to win the next three games to lead 3-2. Maria was broken in the next game but immediately got the break back to lead 4-3. In the final game of the set, Maria held her serve and won the set when Halep’s shot hit the net cord and bounced on Halep’s side as Maria won the set 6-4.
In the third set, Halep again took a 2-0 lead and the pattern continued from the second set as Maria broke back to get the second set. Maria got the decisive break to lead 5-4 when Halep double-faulted and held her serve in the next game to book her spot in Saturday’s semi.
In the semis to be played at 7.oo PM local time, Maria will play No.9 seed Ana Ivanovic of Serbia. Maria has played the 26-year-old eleven times before and leads the series 8-3. Here are the matches they have played against each other:
2006 Linz QF: Maria won 7-6 7-5
2007 Tokyo SF: Ivanovic won 6-1 0-1 ret
2007 French Open SF: Ivanovic won 6-2 6-1
2007 WTA Championships RR: Maria won 6-1 6-2
2008 Australian Open F: Maria won 7-5 6-3
2012 Indian Wells SF: Maria won 6-4 0-1 ret.
2012 Rome R3: Maria won 7-6 6-3
2013 Stuttgart QF: Maria won 7-5 4-6 6-4
2013 Madrid SF: Maria won 6-4 6-3
2014 Stuttgart F: Maria won 3-6 6-4 6-1
2014 Rome R3: Ivanovic won 6-1 6-4