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Halep wins in 45 min, Konta in semis


Johanna Konta of Britain plays a return during the French Open quarterfinal against Sloane Stephens of the United States at the Roland Garros in Paris, on Tuesday.
 PARIS, June 4: Defending women’s champion Simona Halep swept into the last eight in just 45 minutes while Johanna Konta produced a sensational performance as she blew away Sloane Stephens in straight sets to reach the French Open semifinals.

Halep reached her fourth French Open quarterfinal with a 45-minute thrashing of Polish teenager Iga Swiatek late on Monday.

The Romanian third seed raced to a 6-1, 6-0 win as Swiatek failed to hold serve in the match.

Halep will face American 17-year-old Amanda Anisimova, who defeated Spain’s Aliona Bolsova 6-3, 6-0, for a semifinal place.

“Kind of perfect,” said Halep after her win.

World No. 51 Anisimova, meanwhile, became the first player born in the 2000s – man or woman – to make a Grand Slam quarterfinal.

The 28-year-old Konta secured a double break in the first set and never looked back, sealing the 6-1, 6-4 victory in just over an hour of play on Philippe-Chatrier.

Konta, who had never gone beyond the first round before the tournament, becomes the first British woman since Jo Durie in 1983 to reach the last four at Roland Garros.

After a highly competitive first game which lasted nine minutes, Konta edged the battle after four gruelling deuces and never looked back.

Stephens levelled to make it 1-1 but that would be her last game of the set as the Brit stormed seven games in a row.

The American, a finalist here in 2018, soon found her rhythm as she ended her drought with three service games. But Konta was in the form of her life, winning 18 consecutive points on her serve which included six aces.

“It was a great performance. To be on here on my first match on Chatrier and play at the level I did, against one of the best players in the world, I’m very proud of myself,” Konta said.

“I’m so pleased to have played in front of all these people and pleased to have gone through.

“Dealing with the conditions here, with the wind, I had to be prepared for her to hit back at any point with my serve. I was pleased to keep her on the back foot and control the points as much as possible.”

The British number one will now face either Petra Martic, the 31st seed, or Marketa Vondorousova for a place in the final.

On the other hand, top seed and World No. 1 Djokovic continued his bid to hold all four Grand Slam titles simultaneously for the second time by thrashing Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff 6-3, 6-2, 6-2. – Agencies

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