Simona Halep (8 WTA), the highest seed remaining in the race, has produced some of the finest tennis earlier today in Madrid. The grand stage witnessed a compelling performance coming out from the Romanian's racquet head.

Hale, the third seed of the main draw got past Coco Vandeweghe (20 WTA) in straight sets. That was Simona's fourth win in a row in Madrid which brought her closer to successfully defend last year's result when she went all the way defeating Dominika Cibulkova in the final. Moreover, this latest win helps Halep to improve her ranking status.

It's just Kuznetsova standing in the way and the Russian must win the title in order to prevent the Romanian tennis star from getting the fourth slot in the ranking starting from next Monday.

Coco Vandeweghe was not in the best shape

To win a match against Simona Halep a large set of skills is required. Moreover, the shot-making must be close to perfection knowing the fact that the Romanian will return almost every ball.

A great defender especially on clay, the defending champion had no trouble at all in getting past her opponent. Despite an even start of the match, soon enough the American lost contact to the level of tennis she needed. From the other side of the net, Halep did great in putting her first service inside the box.

Her numbers were excellent thus letting nothing to chance.

The opening act went on Simona's pocket by 6-1 and the Romanian was reliving the last two matches' scenario when she won the opening set. This time, it wasn't Roberta Vinci or Samantha Stosur on the other side of the net to push the encounter into a decisive third set.

As a matter of fact, things went on a slide pretty quick with Coco abandoning the fight. In the end, capping an hour of play it was 6-1 6-1 for Halep who will face Anastasija Sevastova next.

The player from Latvia ranked 22nd in the world has recently lost the last direct meeting to Halep in Stuttgart, Germany also on clay.

Simona Halep's new approach seems to be working

After Miami where she melted down in the quarterfinals against Johanna Konta, Simona Halep put herself into a new area by simply not allowing her emotions to take over when things aren't great during a match. In Madrid, the new mindset seems to have its first results as Halep already conquered two obstacles in her way to the semis.

Against Roberta Vinci, it was a genuine story of how a comeback should end. On her favourite surface of all, Halep is now one match away from playing her first WTA final in 2017 and two slots away from capturing her first title this season.