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Jabeur sweeps aside Halep to reach Madrid semifinal

Ons Jabeur marched into the semifinals of the Madrid Open on Wednesday with a crushing 6-3, 6-2 win over former World No. 1 Simona Halep.

After avenging her Charleston final defeat to Belinda Bencic in the previous round, the Tunisian World No. 10 reversed her result against Halep from Dubai three months ago, sweeping the Romanian aside in just 67 minutes.

The first ever Arab tennis player to crack the top 10, Jabeur is through to the second WTA 1000 semifinal of her career and awaits the winner of the clash between Amanda Anisimova and Ekaterina Alexandrova.

“Simona, it’s never easy to play against her, she’s a great champion, she was No. 1, a Grand Slam champion,” said the 27-year-old Jabeur, who is now 2-2 against Halep head-to-head.

“I was more aggressive this time, physically much better on the court. My drop shot helped me a lot today. I’m very happy with the attitude today, so hopefully we’ll continue with this level.”

Halep drew first blood, inching ahead 2-1 but Jabeur scooped the next three games and sealed the set with a flashy point that ended with a forehand down-the-line winner. Jabeur continued to pepper Halep with her signature drop shot, earning two breaks in the second set en route to a convincing victory.

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