Andrea Petkovic defeats Sara Errani to reach French Open semifinals

Andrea Petkovic advanced to her first Grand Slam semifinal, beating Sara Errani of Italy 6-2, 6-2 at the French Open on Wednesday.

Petkovic had some trouble holding serve, but her groundstrokes consistently landed near the lines, many of them for winners.

The 28th-seeded German was broken to open each set. But she won the final six games of the first set, and the final four games of the second.

Petkovic finished the match with 26 winners, while Errani had only 11.

Petkovic will next face fourth-seeded Simona Halep. The Romanian beat 2009 French Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-2, 6-2.

The Petkovic-Errani match on Court Philippe Chatrier, the main stadium at Roland Garros, started under overcast skies after a three-hour delay. With Errani leading 2-1 but facing a break point, the rain returned.

Petkovic then broke with a forehand winner on her second break opportunity.

The drizzle continued until the changeover with Petkovic leading 5-2. By the time the second set started, the sun was out.

Petkovic had been 0-3 in major quarterfinals, losing at that stage at the Australian Open, French Open and U.S. Open in 2011. Her ranking dropped after that, as low as 177th last year, because of a right knee injury.

Errani was the runner-up at Roland Garros in 2012, losing to Maria Sharapova. Last year, the 10th-seeded Italian reached the semifinals and lost to eventual champion Serena Williams.

Later Wednesday, eight-time champion Rafael Nadal was to face 2013 runner-up David Ferrer, while Andy Murray was playing Gael Monfils.

Monfils is trying to become the first Frenchman to win the title at Roland Garros since Yannick Noah in 1983.