Tennis: Halep eases through to Prague Open semi-finals

Reigning Wimbledon champion Halep (above) needed only 59 minutes to beat her opponent 6-2, 6-0. PHOTO: REUTERS

PRAGUE (AFP) - Top seed Simona Halep cruised to the WTA Prague Open semi-finals after seeing off Poland's qualifier Magdalena Frech in two sets on another scorching day on Friday (Aug 14).

The reigning Wimbledon champion needed only 59 minutes to beat the 22-year-old Pole 6-2, 6-0 in what was her first convincing win at tournament following two tight three-setters.

"It was a good one and I take it," the 28-year-old world number two told the public Czech Television.

"I hit the ball stronger and I opened the court better" than in the previous two matches, Halep added.

The tournament in Prague is Halep's first trip abroad since February as she spent the lockdown in her native Romania and then pulled out of the first post-lockdown WTA tournament in Palermo last week.

She is yet to decide whether she will play at the US Open, but she has said she found the journey "tough".

Amid the coronavirus epidemic, the Prague tournament organisers have moved all players and staff to a single eight-storey hotel reserved for the occasion.

Regular temperature checks are a must, just like face masks which the players have to wear unless they are playing, training or eating.

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