Rothesay Classic 2022: Simona Halep and Beatriz Haddad Maia in the running for yet another title - semi-final preview
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The final four at the Rothesay Classic – here we go! Saturday at the Edgbaston Priory Club means semi-finals day and this year’s matches are guaranteed to bring the heat. Check out our preview on the two Centre Court clashes scheduled for tomorrow.
Simona Halep (ROU)  vs Beatriz Haddad Maia (BRA)
The two-time Grand Slam champion who has a taste for winning as she aspires to add trophy number 24 to her impressive list of accolades. This decorated individual is not one you’d want to miss – from sliding her way to Roland Garros glory as she worked the clay to her first Grand Slam win, to experiencing the roaring crowds at Wimbledon as she lifted the trophy to mark her second – Simona Halep is an iconic figure in the tennis world.
With a 100 percent record in the tournament so far, the former world No.1 is a force to be reckoned with. Her brute power and solid defence merely feed her status as one of then best retrievers in the game, and her record only supports. Having made an appearance in Birmingham only once before, Halep will have a thirst for silverware as she looks to etch her name in yet another tournament’s history books. Is anyone going to stop her?
If anyone could stop her in her tracks it would have to be the newly crowned Rothesay Open champion – the impenetrable Beatriz Haddad Maia. The world No.32 has dominated since she stepped foot on the grass, leading her to a season of dreams as she books her second consecutive semi-final. Proving unbeatable so far, can Simona Halep derail her from her impressive winning streak?
Having come face-to-face just twice before, Halep seems to be the more likely on paper, but can Haddad Maia make it a third time lucky? It’s all to play for in tomorrow’s semi-final clash!
Shuai Zhang (CHN)  vs Sorana Cirstea (ROU) 
Sixth seed versus eighth seed, we are in for quite a showdown as Cirstea and Zhang prepare for a battle of the seeds to book that all-important spot in the final two.
Two-time tour level champion, sixth seed Sorana Cirstea, is hoping for fifth time lucky here in Birmingham as she looks to solidify her place in the final. Having struggled to find her feet on the fast-paced surface in the past, the Romanian has come to find her grass legs, reaching new heights as she reaches her first ever grass court semi-final after defeating an on-form Donna Vekic – ending her 100% record at the tournament.
The world No.54 Shuai Zhang has had a great season leading up to the grass events, having reached two finals and converted one after defeating Dayana Yastremska to the Lyon Open title. Known for her offensive style and aggressive play, Zhang is familiar with the grass as she booked herself a place in the final of the Rothesay Open in Nottingham last season. Just eight years after her semi-final appearance in Birmingham, can the three-time tour winner turn her fortune around and book herself a place in the Rothesay Classic final?
No stranger to one another; Zhang and Cirstea have met on three different occasions with two of those three occasions concluding in victories for the Chinese star.