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French Open:L Halep and Petkovic in unfamiliar territory

The French Open will have a first-time grand slam finalist after Simona Halep and Andrea Petkovic won their quarter-finals in dominant fashion.

After nearly three hours were lost to rain, fourth seed Halep defeated 2009 champion Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-2 6-2 and Petkovic won by the same scoreline against 2012 finalist Sara Errani.

The semi-finals will also be a new experience for both women, neither of whom had ever won a last-eight match at a slam before.

Halep said of her performance against Kuznetsova: "It was a perfect day for me. I played really well. I was very aggressive. I played very fast.

"It was a good match, and I'm really happy that now I can play semi-finals in Paris."

The 22-year-old only reached her first grand slam quarter-final at the Australian Open in January and froze against eventual finalist Dominika Cibulkova.

This time it was a very different story, Halep saying: "At that moment I didn't know how to manage the emotions before the quarter-finals.

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"Now I was very relaxed. It was a tough day because I had to wait a few hours to play because of the rain, but still it was perfect."

Petkovic is much more of a surprise name in the last four.

The German, ranked 27th, had enjoyed the luck of the draw with four unseeded opponents in her first four rounds but showed she more than deserved to be in the quarter-finals with a terrific performance against Errani.

Petkovic was nerveless clinching victory, and she said: "I have to say today I was in a real zone. I didn't think at all. I was just focused on what I had to do. Mentally I was really good."

Halep and Petkovic will be back on court this afternoon after the opening semi-final between title favourite Maria Sharapova and Eugenie Bouchard.


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