April 27, 2018 / 4:12 PM / 6 months ago

Vandeweghe stuns Halep to advance to Stuttgart semi-finals

(Reuters) - American CoCo Vandeweghe shocked world number one Simona Halep 6-4 6-1 on Friday to move into the semi-finals of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart.

Tennis - Fed Cup - World Group Semi Final - France vs United States - Arena Du Pays D'Aix, Aix-en-Provence, France - April 21, 2018 CoCo Vandeweghe of the U.S. during her match against France's Kristina Mladenovic REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier

Vandeweghe fired five aces and 19 winners to exert her dominance in the claycourt event despite previously stating her dislike for the surface.

U.S. Open semi-finalist Vandeweghe raced to a 5-4 lead in the opening set on the back of her strong service game. The 26-year-old then sealed a decisive break to clinch the first set and gain the upper hand in the contest.

Despite stepping up her attack, Romania’s Halep struggled to find a way past her opponent who cruised through the second set to reach the last four of a claycourt event for the first time.

Vandeweghe next takes on sixth seed Caroline Garcia who later overcame Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina 6-7(4) 6-4 6-2.

Anett Kontaveit emerged victorious 7-5 6-7(6) 6-4 against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and the Estonian next takes on fifth seed Karolina Pliskova who came from behind to beat a determined Jelena Ostapenko 5-7 7-5 6-4 in the evening session.

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge and Pritha Sarkar

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