Sports

Halep, Bacsinszky advance to Shenzhen final

Shenzhen, China (SportsNetwork.com) - Top-seeded Simona Halep of Romania easily won her semifinal match Friday at the season-opening Shenzhen Open, but won't face second-seeded Petra Kvitova in the expected final after Switzerland's Timea Bacsinszky pulled off an upset of the Wimbledon champion.

Halep quickly dispatched Chinese crowd favorite Zheng Saisai in a 6-2, 6-3 rout, but Bacsinszky denied the blockbuster final with a 6-4, 6-4 triumph over Kvitova.

The eighth-seeded Bacsinszky was broken just once during Friday's match and broke Kvitova three times to reach her third career final. The 25-year-old last played for a title in 2010, losing to Julia Goerges in Bad Gastein, and earned her lone tournament crown a year earlier in Luxembourg with a victory over Sabine Lisicki.

Halep, meanwhile, had no trouble on Friday and will play in her 15th career final. She is 8-6 all-time in title matches, including 1-3 last year. After a victory over Angelique Kerber in the Doha final in February, Halep lost title matches to Maria Sharapova at both Madrid and the French Open before also losing to Serena Williams at the season-ending WTA Finals.

Bacsinszky lost to Halep in their only previous meeting, dropping a 6-1, 6-3 decision five years ago in a lower-tier event in Belgium.

Shenzhen serves as a tune-up for the Australian Open. The first Grand Slam of the season will begin Jan. 19 in Melbourne.