The Latest: Halep cruises into Australian Open semifinals

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — The Latest on the Australian Open (all times local):

12:15 p.m.

Wimbledon champion Simona Halep needed only 53 minutes to beat Anett Kontaveit 6-1, 6-1 and seal a place in the Australian Open semifinals for the second time in three years.

The No. 28-seeded Kontaveit held the opening game at love, but Halep was relentless in an 11-game winning streak that took the match away from her Estonian rival.

Halep worked for every point and strangled Kontaveit's opportunities.

In the second set, she won the longest rally of the match — a 25-shot exchange — and then served an ace on the way to 5-0 lead.

Halep reached the final in Australia, losing in three sets to Caroline Wozniacki, a result she attributes to her winning the French Open that year and her second major title at Wimbledon last year.

The fourth-seeded Halep will next play either two-time major winner Garbiñe Muguruza or No. 30 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, who were playing their quarterfinal later Wednesday.


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