Defending champion Kvitova back in semifinals at New Haven Open, Halep also advances

Defending champion Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic advanced to the semifinals of the New Haven Open, beating Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 2-6, 6-2, 7-5 on Thursday.

Romania's Simona Halep also advanced, topping Russia's Ekaterina Makarova 6-1, 7-6 (6).

It was the third three-set match of the tournament for Kvitova, who leads the WTA Tour with 29 this season. She improved to 19-10 in those contests.

Rain delayed the start of play in both matches by more than an hour and a half, and each included hour-long rain delays during play.

Halep will play the winner of Thursday night's marquee quarterfinal match between four-time New Haven champion Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark and rising American star Sloane Stephens.

Kvitova will face Russia's Elena Vesnina or the Czech Republic's Klara Zakopalova.