Cincinnati Open: Johanna Konta loses to Simona Halep in quarter-finals

Ekaterina Makarova in action

Second-ranked Halep eliminated British seventh seed Johanna Konta 6-4, 7-6 (7/1) to book a semi-final date with United States wild card Sloane Stephens.

The fourth-ranked Muguruza reached her first W&S final with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over defending champion Pliskova.

In the men's draw, Nick Kyrgios beat Spaniard Rafael Nadal 6-2 7-5.

To reach the coveted top ranking and win the W&S Open for the first time, Halep must successfully navigate the challenges Muguruza presents. I knew I was going to be in danger at some point, so I stayed calm.

Pliskova, who faces Italian qualifier Camila Giorgi in a later third-round match, must also fight off Ukraine s Elina Svitolina, who won her fifth WTA title of the year last week in Toronto to reach a career-high fourth in the rankings. The seventh-seeded Dimitrov got his first career win in six matches against Del Potro.

She's very strong. I said that if I feel my legs, I'm stronger, so I have just to be there and to push her back and to hit the balls.

"Whatever comes I will just take it", said Pliskova.

"I feel pretty good", Pliskova said. "Everything went my way".

Muguruza served well, and put on a powerful display but she backed up with an all-round presence that left Pliskova on the back foot throughout, as she closed out a very comfortable 6-3 6-2 win.

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The Romanian did not face a break point against a lethargic Stephens, and struck 11 winners against nine unforced errors while breaking five times on nine opportunities.

Muguruza was coming off playing the tournament's longest match, a 2-hour, 45-minute three-set win over Svetlana Kuznetsova on Friday. "I don't have words to say, because when these kind of things happen, is hard", Nadal said. "I think the energy was pretty low from my side". Obviously tough schedule for me last two days: three matches in about not even 24 hours. It's very sad and I'm very, very sorry about what happened.

Kyrgios, ranked 23rd, took the first set in 25 minutes, dropping only three points on his serve while taking seven- of eight points off the 31-year-old Spaniard's second serves.

Muguruza, her left thigh bandaged, blasted a backhand victor on her fourth break point to take the opening game of the match and broke again on another backhand victor to take the first set after 36 minutes.

She gained a second-set edge with a backhand victor on break point for a 4-2 lead before closing it out in just under 80 minutes.

The top seeds at the Western & Southern Open waited hours through rain before their matches were postponed late Thursday night, setting up a chaotic weekend finish. It's going to hold me back. That's why maybe I can play. She was a little fresher.

Dimitrov, who matched his best Grand Slam showing by reaching this year´s Australian Open semi-finals, seeks his third title of the season and sixth of his career Sunday against the victor of a later semi-final between Australia´s Nick Kyrgios and Spain´s David Ferrer. The Bulgarian will play the victor of the semifinal between Nick Kyrgios, who knocked out second-ranked Rafael Nadal in straight sets in a Friday quarterfinal, and David Ferrer.

"For sure it's a great feeling that I can play the final again", Halep told Andrew Krazny after the match. "I just have to come here and give it everything I have". "So, happy I made it".

"I'm definitely not thinking at all about number one", Muguruza said. "He was a little calmer as well - a little more free-flowing in big moments".

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