Halep reaches China Open tennis semis

Simona Halep of Romania claim a first ever win over Maria Sharapova at the China Open

Halep has never been No.1 but has had a few missed opportunities, most notably in June's French Open final loss to Jelena Ostapenko.

With the players engaging in hard-hitting baseline rallies, it was Halep that came out on top, breaking serve with a backhand crosscourt to lead 5-4 and then sealing the match with a trademark forehand to complete victory in 77 minutes.

Halep will not officially top the standings until Monday when the rankings are updated, but she will officially be regarded as the 25th player to become world number one in the women's game.

Ostapenko entered their semi-final having not lost a set in Beijing, but Halep dominated from the start, breaking her opponent's serve in the first game to love.

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She displayed an nearly ideal play in Beijing, where back in 2012 she lost to Sharapova in two sets.

As she becomes the world No. 1, Halep leaps past Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza.

In what was a tremendous comeback, she went on winning the next two sets to kill off Halep's second French Open title bid. I try just to not think too much about that, to stop thinking, because you feel the pressure when you're thinking too much.

After not playing Maria Sharapova in two years, Simona Halep played against the Russian for the second time in six weeks.

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Garcia took the opening set before Kvitová fought back in the second.

Last month, she claimed the biggest title of her career at the Wuhan Open in China, beating Australian Ashleigh Barty in the final. It's the best moment in my life and I want just to keep it. Her win advanced her to the quarterfinals.

But the 20-year-old added after seeing off Romanian Sorana Cirstea 6-4, 6-4: "If I play my best and I stay aggressive tomorrow and I am consistent, I think everything can happen". In the quarter-finals, she meets the victor between 11th-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland and Russian Daria Kasatkina.

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