Simona Halep US Open 2021

Simona Halep hammers compatriot to fulfil her end of Emma Raducanu contest set-up

Simona Halep overpowered a fellow Romanian to reach the semi-finals of the Transylvania Open and a possible meeting with Emma Raducanu.

The tournament top seed faced Jaqueline Cristian in the quarter-finals of the WTA 250. Halep was far too strong for Cristian, claiming victory for the loss of just two games, 6-1, 6-1 in under 70 minutes on court.

The result comes after second seed Anett Kontaveit claimed her own dominant victory over eighth seed Anhelina Kalinina 6-3, 6-1 to reach the last four.

With victory, the world number 18, reaches her first semi-final since suffering injury at the Italian Open back in May.

Halep’s last tour title came at the Italian Open the year before, defeating Karolina Pliskova when the Czech was forced to retire from the final.

The last quarter-final match-up in Romania sees 18-year-old Raducanu take on fellow teen sensation Marta Kostyuk of Ukraine.

Raducanu admitted that she will be expecting a tough test against the 19-year-old.

“[Kostyuk] is a great opponent, she absolutely destroyed me in the juniors every single time, so it will be an interesting match, I’m looking forward to it,”  the Brit revealed.

By reaching the quarter-finals, Raducanu won her first two WTA tour victories ever, having entered the tournament without a win at tour level.

The teenager has also sealed a tournament result which will see her achieve a new career-high of at least 21 in the world. Currently ranked 23rd, her previous career-best was 22.

Should she win the tournament, Raducanu would climb to 17th in the rankings, breaking the top 20 for the very first time.