Bucharest, Romania - Romanian crowd favorite Simona Halep was an easy quarterfinal winner Friday at the inaugural Bucharest Open tennis tournament.
The top-seeded French Open runner-up leveled Spaniard Lara Arruabarrena 6-3, 6-1 on the red clay at Arenele BNR.
The world No. 3 Halep, who was a Wimbledon semifinalist last week, will meet fellow Romanian Monica Niculescu in Saturday's semifinals. The 26-year-old Niculescu upset eighth-seeded Slovenian Polona Hercog 6-2, 2-6, 7-6 (7-3) on Day 5.
The other semi will pit second-seeded Italian Roberta Vinci against Slovak Kristina Kucova. Vinci vaulted past seventh-seeded Czech Petra Cetkovska 7-5, 6-3, while Kucova clipped Montenegro's Danka Kovinic 6-4, 1-6, 6-3.
The maiden Bucharest champion will pocket $43,000.