Kristina Mladenovic upset world #2 Simona Halep in Birmingham on Friday, edging out the Romanian in a tight three-set battle to make the 2015 AEGON Classic semifinal.
The day started out with business as usual for Halep who comfortably took the first set. All of a sudden, the Romanian started to fade away in the second set, serving plenty of double faults as Mladenovic started to believe in her chance to turn the match around.
Halep managed to make the third set a much closer affair, pushing Mladenovic into a final tiebreak that ended in favor of the Frenchwoman, much to the enjoyment of Mladenovic’s brother Luka who got to witness his sister make a Premier semifinal on his birthday.
The other three matches had less of a surprising outcome as the predicted favorites all made it through into the semifinals. Czech rising star Karolina Pliskova had no problems getting past Carla Suarez Navarro in straight sets, the Spanish clay specialist always looking a bit like a fish out of water on grass.
A player that feels much more at home on the green stuff is Angelique Kerber, the 2013 Wimbledon semifinalist has comfortably made the semis in Birmingham, beating Katerina Siniakova in straight sets.
Kerber will be meeting fellow German Fed Cup team mate Sabine Lisicki in the semifinals as the 2013 Wimbledon finalist continued her impressive Birmingham run with yet another straight set win, beating 2013 Birmingham champion Daniela Hantuchova in straight sets.