Halep, Kvitova advance to Shenzhen semis

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Shenzhen, China (SportsNetwork.com) - Top seeds Simona Halep of Romania and Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic were straight-set winners Thursday in the quarterfinals of the season-opening Shenzhen Open.

The top-seeded Halep made short work of Serbian qualifier Aleksandra Krunic, 6-3, 6-3, while the second-seeded Kvitova had to work a little harder in a 7-5, 6-4 triumph over countrymate Tereza Smitkova.

Halep, last year's French Open runner-up and Wimbledon semifinalist, will next play Chinese crowd favorite Zheng Saisai in the semifinals. Zheng advanced Thursday with a 3-6, 7-6 (7-2), 6-2 win over fourth-seeded Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan.

Kvitova, the reigning Wimbledon champ, will take on a rested Timea Bacsinszky of Switzerland in the semis. The eighth-seeded Bacsinszky held a 3-2 lead in the first set against Vera Zvonareva when the Russian veteran retired.

Shenzhen serves as a tune-up for the Australian Open, which will begin Jan. 19 in Melbourne.