Halep storms into maiden French Open semis

Rafa Nadal with the French Open trophy at the Eiffel Tower.
Rafa Nadal with the French Open trophy at the Eiffel Tower.
Rafa Nadal drops to his knees after winning his ninth French Open title.
Rafa Nadal drops to his knees after winning his ninth French Open title.
A frustrated Novak Djokovic could not overcome the 'King of Clay'.
A frustrated Novak Djokovic could not overcome the 'King of Clay'.
Rafa Nadal has only been beaten once at the French Open in the last 10 years.
Rafa Nadal has only been beaten once at the French Open in the last 10 years.
Maria Sharapova with the Suzanne Lenglen Trophy after her second French Open triumph.
Maria Sharapova with the Suzanne Lenglen Trophy after her second French Open triumph.
Maria Sharapova collapses to the clay after the championship-clinching point.
Maria Sharapova collapses to the clay after the championship-clinching point.
Maria Sharapova had to battle over three hours to overcome Simona Halep in the French Open final.
Maria Sharapova had to battle over three hours to overcome Simona Halep in the French Open final.
Simona Halep reacts after taking the second set from Maria Sharapova in a tie-break.
Simona Halep reacts after taking the second set from Maria Sharapova in a tie-break.
Rafa Nadal has a shot at his ninth French Open crown against Novak Djokovic.
Rafa Nadal has a shot at his ninth French Open crown against Novak Djokovic.
Andy Murray was no match for Rafa Nadal in the French Open semifinals.
Andy Murray was no match for Rafa Nadal in the French Open semifinals.
Novak Djokovic overcame losing the third set to finish off Ernsts Gulbis in four sets to reach the French Open final.
Novak Djokovic overcame losing the third set to finish off Ernsts Gulbis in four sets to reach the French Open final.
Ernsts Gulbis in action during his men's semifinal against Novak Djokovic.
Ernsts Gulbis in action during his men's semifinal against Novak Djokovic.
Maria Sharapova plays a two-handed backhand on the run against Canada's Eugenie Bouchard.
Maria Sharapova plays a two-handed backhand on the run against Canada's Eugenie Bouchard.
Simona Halep battled past Andrea Petkovic in two sets to face Maria Sharapova in the women's French Open final.
Simona Halep battled past Andrea Petkovic in two sets to face Maria Sharapova in the women's French Open final.
Andrea Petkovic missed a chance to capture the second set before losing in a tiebreak.
Andrea Petkovic missed a chance to capture the second set before losing in a tiebreak.
Eugenie Bouchard fell short of the final in a second straight grand slam.
Eugenie Bouchard fell short of the final in a second straight grand slam.
Novak Djokovic attempts to replace a letter on an advertising board after knocking it off with his racquet.
Novak Djokovic attempts to replace a letter on an advertising board after knocking it off with his racquet.
Andrea Petkovic kisses her racquet after defeating Sara Errani in their French Open quarterfinal match.
Andrea Petkovic kisses her racquet after defeating Sara Errani in their French Open quarterfinal match.
Simona Halep reacts after defeating Svetlana Kuznetsova to reach the semifinals.
Simona Halep reacts after defeating Svetlana Kuznetsova to reach the semifinals.
Spectators shelter under umbrellas as rain delayed the start of quarterfinals on Day 11.
Spectators shelter under umbrellas as rain delayed the start of quarterfinals on Day 11.
Novak Djokovic makes a forehand shot on the run against Milos Raonic.
Novak Djokovic makes a forehand shot on the run against Milos Raonic.
Ernsts Gulbis pumps his fist after defeating Tomas Berdych in the quarterfinals.
Ernsts Gulbis pumps his fist after defeating Tomas Berdych in the quarterfinals.
Maria Sharapova lost the first set 6-1, but responded to finish off Garbine Muguruza in three sets.
Maria Sharapova lost the first set 6-1, but responded to finish off Garbine Muguruza in three sets.
Eugenie Bouchard plays a shot during her three sets quarterfinal victory.
Eugenie Bouchard plays a shot during her three sets quarterfinal victory.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga plays an overhead shot in the sunshine.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga plays an overhead shot in the sunshine.
Novak Djokovic questions a line call during his four-setter against Croat Marin Cilic.
Novak Djokovic questions a line call during his four-setter against Croat Marin Cilic.
Maria Sharapova served up a 'double-bagel' to unseeded Argentine Paula Ormaechea.
Maria Sharapova served up a 'double-bagel' to unseeded Argentine Paula Ormaechea.
Roger Federer stretches for a backhand during his four-set third-round victory over Russian Dmitry Tursunov.
Roger Federer stretches for a backhand during his four-set third-round victory over Russian Dmitry Tursunov.
Court crew drag out the covers as rain interrupts play during Maria Sharapova's match.
Court crew drag out the covers as rain interrupts play during Maria Sharapova's match.
France's Pauline Parmentier rips a forehand during her tough three-set victory over Mona Barthel.
France's Pauline Parmentier rips a forehand during her tough three-set victory over Mona Barthel.
Fifth seed Petra Kvitova serves during her victory over Marina Erakovic.
Fifth seed Petra Kvitova serves during her victory over Marina Erakovic.
Ana Ivanovic adjusts her ponytail while playing Ukraine's Elina Svitolina.
Ana Ivanovic adjusts her ponytail while playing Ukraine's Elina Svitolina.
Dark clouds hover over the Philippe Chatrier Court as Rafael Nadal plays Dominic Thiem.
Dark clouds hover over the Philippe Chatrier Court as Rafael Nadal plays Dominic Thiem.
Romanian Simona Halep acknowledges the crowd after her victory over Heather Watson.
Romanian Simona Halep acknowledges the crowd after her victory over Heather Watson.
Tsvetana Pironkova receives advice from a medical staffer during her loss to Maria Sharapova.
Tsvetana Pironkova receives advice from a medical staffer during her loss to Maria Sharapova.
Spain's Garbine Muguruza celebrates her upset victory over No 1 seed Serena Williams.
Spain's Garbine Muguruza celebrates her upset victory over No 1 seed Serena Williams.
Ernsts Gulbis focuses as he serves against Facundo Bagnis.
Ernsts Gulbis focuses as he serves against Facundo Bagnis.
Maria Sharapova smashes a forehand shot against Tsvetana Pironkova in the third round.
Maria Sharapova smashes a forehand shot against Tsvetana Pironkova in the third round.
Austria's Jurgen Melzer stretches to hit a forehand against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
Austria's Jurgen Melzer stretches to hit a forehand against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga celebrates his victory over Jurgen Melzer.
Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga celebrates his victory over Jurgen Melzer.
Li Na congratulates Kristina Mladenovic after the current Australian Open champion was ousted by the French youngster.
Li Na congratulates Kristina Mladenovic after the current Australian Open champion was ousted by the French youngster.
Sara Errani of Italy serves to Madison Keys of the U.S. during their women's singles match at the French Open.
Sara Errani of Italy serves to Madison Keys of the U.S. during their women's singles match at the French Open.
Dustin Brown of Germany returns a shot during his men's singles match against Marinko Matosevic of Australia on day three of the French Open.
Dustin Brown of Germany returns a shot during his men's singles match against Marinko Matosevic of Australia on day three of the French Open.
Andy Murray stretches for a backhand during his first round match against Andrey Golubev of Kazakhstan.
Andy Murray stretches for a backhand during his first round match against Andrey Golubev of Kazakhstan.
Lleyton Hewitt reacts after losing a point during his first round loss to Argentine Carlos Berlocq at the French Open.
Lleyton Hewitt reacts after losing a point during his first round loss to Argentine Carlos Berlocq at the French Open.
Frenchwoman Kristina Mladenovic serves during her victory over Li Na.
Frenchwoman Kristina Mladenovic serves during her victory over Li Na.
The view of court one as Ivo Karlovic of Croatia plays Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria.
The view of court one as Ivo Karlovic of Croatia plays Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria.
Stanislas Wawrinka picks out balls to serve during his first round loss at Roland Garros.
Stanislas Wawrinka picks out balls to serve during his first round loss at Roland Garros.
Argentina's Facundo Bagnis celebrates after defeating Frenchman Julien Benneteau in the first round.
Argentina's Facundo Bagnis celebrates after defeating Frenchman Julien Benneteau in the first round.
Court crew sweep water off the covers during a delay on day two at Roland Garros.
Court crew sweep water off the covers during a delay on day two at Roland Garros.

Romanian fourth seed Simona Halep outfoxed former French Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia 6-2 6-2 to reach her first grand slam semi-final on Wednesday (local time).

Halep, junior champion at Roland Garros in 2008, will face Andrea Petkovic for a place in Saturday's final after the German beat former runner-up Sara Errani, of Italy.

Russian 27th seed Kuznetsova, who won the title in 2009 to go with her 2004 US Open title, took a medical timeout after the first set and came back with her left thigh strapped.

She wasted break points early in the second set and made too many unforced forehand errors as Halep wrapped it up on the first match point when Kuznetsova netted a service return.

Not a hard hitter, Halep compensates for her relative lack of power with her tactical nous.

Prowling along the baseline, she moved Kuznetsova around with crosscourt shots, forcing the Russian to misfire.

She took the first game on her opponent's serve, only for Kuznetsova to break back for 2-2 as the Russian played deeper.

But Halep stuck to her strategy and won the remaining four games, taking the set when Kuznetsova sent a forehand long.

The Russian had her chance in the second game of the second set but she wasted her two break points with unforced errors. She had two further chances in the fourth game, but Halep saved them with an exquisite drop shot and a superb backhand down the line to hold for 3-1.

Halep, who converted six of her eight break points while Kuznetsova blew seven of her nine chances to steal her opponent's serve, fired a few stunning return winners to break again in the fifth game.

With the contest virtually over, Halep lost focus and served three double faults in the last game, but still managed to close it down having not dropped a set in the tournament, conceding just over four games per match.

UNCHARTERED TERRITORY: Simona Halep reacts after defeating Svetlana Kuznetsova to reach the French Open semifinals.
UNCHARTERED TERRITORY: Simona Halep reacts after defeating Svetlana Kuznetsova to reach the French Open semifinals.

Reuters