French Open 2014: Halep beats Petkovic to reach first Grand Slam final

French Open 2014: Fourth seed Simona Halep beats Andrea Petkovic in straight sets to reach first Major final

French Open 2014: Halep beats Petkovic to reach first Grand Slam final

Simona Halep reached her first-ever Grand Slam final after beating German Andrea Petkovic 6-2, 7-6 (4) to set up a clash against 2012 French Open champion Maria Sharapova.

The victory continues what has been a stratospheric rise for the 22-year-old over the last year. The Romanian was ranked 57th when she lost in the first round at Roland Garros 12 months ago, but has since won seven WTA titles and moved to No3 in the world with today’s win.

Both players were competing in their first Grand Slam semi-final, but it was Halep who settled the quickest and she broke Petkovic’s serve in the opening game.

The fourth seed was in complete control throughout the opening exchanges, hitting 12 winners in a first set that lasted just 28 minutes, as she continued the blistering form that has seen her cruise through the tournament without dropping a set.

Petkovic, who has suffered from injuries throughout her career, began to improve, though, and belatedly took the match to her opponent with some forceful hitting.

Taking the ball earlier, the 26-year-old broke Halep for the first time to lead 3-1 but immediately lost her own serve.

Despite edging the set, Petkovic could not break again and Halep wrapped up the tiebreak 7-4 to reach her maiden Major final.

Today’s victor will go into Saturday’s showdown as the underdog against the 2012 French Open champion Sharapova.

The Russian enjoys a 3-0 career record over Halep, but the Romanian won the first set 6-1 in their most recent meeting in Madrid.

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