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Halep makes maiden French Open quarter-final

Simona Halep

Simona Halep reached her first French Open quarter-final with a straight-sets victory over Sloane Stephens on Monday.

The Romanian is the highest seed left in the women's draw at Roland Garros this year after early setbacks for Serena Williams, Li Na and Agnieszka Radwanska.

And she continued her march through the tournament with a 6-4 6-3 win over the 15th-seeded American.

Both players are tipped for bright futures on the WTA Tour but it was Halep who prevailed on this occasion, needing just 78 minutes to book her spot in the last eight.

Breaks of serve were common in the first set but Halep's agility around the court proved crucial, with her accurate forehand helping her to 11 winners in the opener.

She took the first set with a third break of Stephens' serve and then served to take a 1-0 lead in the second before a run of five breaks in as many games.

Halep eventually broke the run of breaks when she held for a 5-2 advantage, as she closed out victory with another hold shortly after.

The world number four, who has stormed up the rankings after an outstanding 2013 that saw her win six titles, finished with 19 winners and six breaks.

Halep will play 2009 winner Svetlana Kuznetsova or Lucie Safarova in her quarter-final.

 

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