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Shenzhen Open: Simona Halep, Maria Sharapova advance to semifinals

Sharapova beat Diyas in her quarterfinal 6-3, 6-3. VCG/VCG via Getty Images

Simona Halep advanced to the semifinal stage of the Shenzen Open in impressive fashion after beating Aryna Sabalenka 6-2, 6-2.

Halep, who is the current world No.1, is in reliable form and looking a good bet to pick up her first ever Grand Slam title later this month at the Australia Open.

Halep, 26, made it to the French Open final in 2017 but was beaten to the title by Jelena Ostapenko. She was also knocked out in round one of last year's Grand Slam in Melbourne.

Maria Sharapova was also victorious in her quarterfinal on centre court, beating Zarina Diyas 6-3, 6-3.

The five-time Grand Slam champion will be playing in her first Australia Open since reaching the quarterfinal stage in 2016.

Elsewhere, Timea Babos lost to Irina-Camelia Begu 5-7, 5-7 and will take on Halep in the semifinal.

In the final game of the day, Katerina Siniakova and Kristyna Pliskova battled for the fourth semifinal spot.

It was Siniakova who secured the place, beating her countrywoman 6-2, 6-2 to set up a final-four clash against Sharapova