Simona Halep powers past Begu to reach Shenzhen Open final

World number one Simona Halep of Romania tamed compatriot Irina-Camelia Begu in straight sets to reach the final of the Shenzhen Open in China on Friday.

Simona Halep powers past Begu to reach Shenzhen Open final
File photo of Simona Halep (Reuters)

World number one Simona Halep of Romania tamed compatriot Irina-Camelia Begu in straight sets to reach the final of the Shenzhen Open in China on Friday.

Halep, who hit 15 winners to win 6-1, 6-4 in an hour and 29 minutes, relied on precision and counter-punching in a tight second set to seal a second career final at Shenzhen.

Up next for Halep is the winner of the second semi-final between defending champion Katerina Siniakova and five-times grand slam champion Maria Sharapova.

Top seed Halep broke her rival early in the contest to race to a 4-1 lead. Begu sent a forehand wide in a see-sawing sixth game as Halep broke again and took the first set on serve.

Begu, seeking a first win over Halep in her sixth attempt, fought back after an early break to lead 3-2 in the second set. She attacked her rival with great gusto but Halep subdued the comeback attempt and sealed the match.

”It was a tough match,“ Halep said in a courtside interview. ”I know she is a strong player and in the second set you could see she was improving her game so it was a tougher battle.

“I think I was strong enough to stay there and hit the ball stronger in the end because the energy was falling a little bit. I came back, I served pretty well in the last game and I‘m pretty proud of my victory today, it was a tough one.”

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