Halep sneaks into Dubai SFs

Dubai, United Arab Emirates (SportsNetwork.com) – Top seed Simona Halep
went the distance Thursday to reach the semifinals at the $2.5 million Dubai
Tennis Championships.

The French Open runner-up Halep got past sixth-seeded Russian left-hander
Ekaterina Makarova 6-3, 1-6, 7-5 at Aviation Club Tennis Centre.

Halep was serving for the match at 5-3 in the final set before Makarova broke
her Romanian counterpart and then consolidated the break with a hold to level
the stanza at 5-all, but Halep then held and broke Makarova to move on.

Two other round-of-eight affairs saw 17th-seeded rising Czech Karolina
Pliskova upend 11th-seeded fellow countrywoman Lucie Safarova 3-6, 7-6 (7-5),
6-1 and talented Spaniard Garbine Muguruza oust 13th-seeded compatriot Carla
Suarez Navarro 6-7 (4-7), 6-3, 6-3. Pliskova also beat Safarova in a
quarterfinal in Antwerp last week. Suarez Navarro reached the final in
Antwerp last week, but was unable to play in the match against Andrea
Petkovic because of a neck injury.

Pliskova will meet her fellow rising star Muguruza in Friday’s other semi.

The 2015 Dubai champion will claim $456,000.