Tennis

Simona Halep sounds warning ahead of semi-final with Garbine Muguruza

Simona Halep warned she's playing some of the best tennis of her career as she cruised into today's Australian Open semi-final against fellow two-time Grand Slam champion Garbine Muguruza.

The Romanian, 28, is the only player in the women's draw not to drop a set in Melbourne and never looked in danger of doing so as she thrashed Estonian 28th seed Anett Kontaveit 6-1, 6-1 in 53 minutes yesterday.

Muguruza, who like Halep has won Wimbledon and the French Open, sealed a date with Halep with a 7-5, 6-3 quarter-final win over Russia's 30th seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

Muguruza edges Halep 3-2 in their five previous meetings, but Halep said she is in the kind of sizzling form that saw her defeat Serena Williams 6-2, 6-2 in the Wimbledon final last July.

The former world No. 1 is also growing into the Australian Open, having previously said she was tired at the outset.

"I feel more energy going to the semi-finals. I feel more confident, I feel my game," said Halep, who is set to climb a rung to world No. 2 next week.

It has been a similar story for her semi-final opponent Muguruza, who was thrashed 6-0 in the first set of her first-round match against Shelby Rogers before winning the next two sets 6-1, 6-0.

The unseeded Spaniard, 26, went on to beat Ajla Tomljanovic, Elina Svitolina, Kiki Bertens and Pavlyuchenkova to reach the Melbourne semi-finals for the first time.

"I came not feeling great. I wasn't really thinking, how far will I go?" said Muguruza yesterday.

"It's definitely been from low to high, not starting at my best, then each day recovering."

World No. 1 Ashleigh Barty takes on American Sofia Kenin in the other semi-final today. - AFP

Tennis