Tennis: Simona Halep first into Italian Open semi-finals as Kazakh opponent retires

Tennis: Simona Halep first into Italian Open semi-finals as Kazakh opponent retires

ROME (AFP) – Top seed Simona Halep took the first semi-final berth at the Italian Open on Saturday (Sept 19), when Kazakh rival Yulia Putintseva retired during their match.

The world No. 2 was leading 6-2, 2-0 when US Open quarter-finalist Putintseva signalled that she was retiring after 45 minutes of play.

Two-time Rome runner-up Halep next meets either Belarusian Victoria Arazenka or Spaniard Garbine Muguruza for a place in the final of the clay-court tennis tournament.

Matches from Sunday’s semi-finals will be played in front of 1,000 spectators, with the action up to now in front of empty stands at the Foro Italico amid the coronavirus crisis.