Simona Halep
Simona Halep is happy to reach the semi-finals of the Dubai Duty Free WTA Championships in Dubai. Image Credit: AP

Dubai: Simona Halep has set a realistic target of taking one match at a time at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships as she looks at finishing the year in the top 10 after returning from a calf injury that kept her away during the most part of last year.

“The title in Dubai is still very far. I am taking one match at a time,” said the Romanian former world No. 1 after defeating Arab hope Ons Jabeur in the quarter-finals on Centre Court on Thursday. “I still stay like with my feet on the ground. I know that I am coming back from a tough injury, from a tough year. So I’m pleased that I have the chance to play semis here.”

After surviving early jitters, Halep breezed to victory in the second set. Now the Romanian has a bigger challenge on her hands as she faces Jelena Ostapenko in the last four.

“Ostapenko is very similar to Jabeur, hitting very strong and doesn’t have rhythm. It will be a tough challenge and I’m ready,” added Halep, who feels a lot better to play in front of the fans than without them.

“I have such a big support every time I play, so I really want to thank people for that. It gives me energy. It’s better with them than without them. We played one year and a half without fans, and was terrible.”

Is there any particular target you’ve set for the end of the year?

“Top 10, to go back to top 10. If there is a chance, I will fight for it,” Halep concluded.