MELBOURNE: Garbine Muguruza stormed back into the Grand Slam big time with a 7-5 6-3 win over Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova to reach her first Australian Open semi-final on Wednesday.

The twice Grand Slam champion will meet former finalist Simona Halep on Thursday for a place in Saturday's final after producing her most complete performance at Melbourne Park this year on a sunbathed Rod Laver Arena.

Spain's Garbine Muguruza celebrates winning her match against Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova during the Australian Open Quarter Final, at Melbourne Park, in Melbourne, Australia, on January 29, 2020. Photo: Reuters
Spain's Garbine Muguruza celebrates winning her match against Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova during the Australian Open Quarter Final, at Melbourne Park, in Melbourne, Australia, on January 29, 2020. Photo: Reuters

In a match of grunting baseline pounders, Spaniard Muguruza broke the 30th seeded Russian twice in the second set and charged to the finish in a hailstorm of winners.

Pavlyuchenkova saved a match point with a thumping backhand but was powerless to deal with the second as Muguruza sealed the match with a deft drop-volley.