Beijing - Simona Halep took a step nearer overhauling Garbine Muguruza
as world number one when the Romanian raced into the semi-finals of the China
Open on Friday.
The second-ranked Halep eased past Russia's unseeded Daria
Kasatkina 6-2, 6-1 in 69 minutes in Beijing and will face compatriot Sorana
Cirstea or Latvia's Jelena Ostapenko in the last four.
The Spaniard Muguruza's short stay at the top is under
severe threat after she bowed out in the first round in the Chinese capital
with a virus.
Halep is in red-hot form and claimed the scalp of former
number one Maria Sharapova in the previous round - beating the Russian at the
Third seed Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria was the first into
the semi-finals of the men's draw when he battled past the Spaniard Roberto
Bautista Agut 7-6 (7/5), 4-6, 6-2.
Dimitrov will play John Isner or world number one Rafael
Nadal in the last four.