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It was the flawless start for Romanian, who broke at love in the opening game of the match after a poor drop shot from her opponent.

Simona Halep may have never won a Major but the Romanian tennis player has become the new world number one in women's tennis.

The second set started with 4 good holds, which was important for Ostapenko to regain her confidence, but she got broken in game 5 after netting an easy forehand, which was her 25th unforced error since the start of the match!

Asked by AFP what those were, she smiled: "I tell you one, only one: to win a Grand Slam, which you know". Halep, thus, replaces Garbine Muguruza at the top of the rankings which will be updated on Monday.

Simona Halep has edged closer to taking the world No 1 ranking by qualifying for the China Open semi-finals on Friday.

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She broke Sharapova five times in return and made just six unforced errors in clinching a place in the quarter-finals. I'm really happy that I could do this.

While Rafael Nadal, Alexander Zverev, Nick Kyrgios and Grigor Dimitrov headline the men's final four in Beijing, the women actually have the bigger event there - $1.271M to the women's victor vs $652K to the men's! "It's my first victory against her and I just want to enjoy the moment". Whether it was about Maria Sharapova, Daria Kasatkina or Jelena Ostapenko, her opponents didn't stand a chance against a near-to-perfect display of tennis. She lost 45% of the points in her games, facing 8 break points and dropping serve 4 times to end on the losing side.

On the other side, Jelena Ostapenko was playing her third consecutive semifinal in Asia trying to reach her first Premier Mandatory final in the process.

Halep will face Caroline Garcia or Petra Kvitova in Sunday's final. Halep will be making her fourth straight appearance in the Republic.

Last month, she claimed the biggest title of her career at the Wuhan Open in China, beating Australian Ashleigh Barty in the final.


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