LONDON (AFP) – Angelique Kerber continued her fine grass court form ahead of the defence of her Wimbledon title by getting the better of Simona Halep, 6-4, 6-3, to reach the semifinals of the Eastbourne International on Thursday.
The three-time Grand Slam champion is homing in on her first title of the year and has now reached the semifinals in her last four grass court events.
The German broke twice early in both sets to take a commanding lead in the battle between two former world number ones.
Halep got one of the breaks back on both occasions, but Kerber held on to seal victory in just over 70 minutes.
Next up she will face the unseeded Ons Jabeur for a spot in the final after the Tunisian edged out Alize Cornet, 1-6, 7-5, 6-3.
The two top seeds on the other side of the draw will clash for a place in Saturday’s final as world number three Karolina Pliskova and fourth-ranked Kiki Bertens claimed a place in the last four.
Pliskova, who won in Eastbourne two years ago, dropped just two games outclassing Russia’s Ekaterina Alexandrova, 6-2, 6-0.
Bertens had a tougher afternoon, but eventually saw off last year’s finalist Aryna Sabalenka, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4.