In a battle of former No. 1s, Kerber tops Halep in Eastbourne

In a battle of former No. 1s, Kerber tops Halep in Eastbourne

The three-time Grand Slam champion will play Ons Jabeur, who pulled a come-from-behind victory over Alize Cornet, 1-6, 7-5, 6-3.

In a battle of former No. 1s, it was Angelique Kerber who came out on top against Simona Halep, toppling the Romanian, 6-4, 6-3, to advance to the semifinals of the Nature Valley International on Thursday.

Kerber, a two-time Eastbourne finalist, is fine-tuning her grass-court game before mounting her Wimbledon defense campaign next week.

"This is the best preparation for me for Wimbledon," Kerber said after her second-round win. "You are playing here, the fans are cheering for you, and you have good opponents, you have the competition. Every match it's really tight and close. You have to play good tennis. That's why I'm coming back every year to have these matches before another Grand Slam."

On Friday, the three-time Grand Slam champion will play Ons Jabeur, who pulled a come-from-behind victory over Alize Cornet, 1-6, 7-5, 6-3.  This semifinal clash will be the two's first encounter.

Meanwhile, Halep, who is playing her first grass-court prep tournament, is still alive in the doubles event. She and her compatriot Raluca Olaru will face Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Kirsten Flipkens for a spot in the final.