2014 champion Simona Halep is back in the Qatar Total Open final after defeating Elina Svitolina for the first time in nearly two years.
Halep came from a break down in the deciding set and won the match 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 against Svitolina.
Coming into today’s match, the Ukrainian had led their head-to-head 4-3 – including four of their five encounters since 2014. Halep had been forced to come back from 3-6, 1-5 down and save a match point in her only win during that period, in the 2017 Roland Garros quarterfinals, and since then had won just 13 games and no sets in their following three encounters.
“I’m happy because I didn’t give up… The two finals that I played against her in Rome I gave up and I was not ready to fight,” said Halep, who will face unseeded Belgian Elise Mertens in Saturday’s final.
“Now I change that, and it makes me happier because I showed myself that I’m able to do that.”
“The mental part is really important… but definitely today I was stronger physically as well, because against Svitolina (it) is never easy to win a match. She’s very strong on the legs.
The World number three will Elize Mertens scored her second top 10 victory of the week as she battled past three-times Grand Slam champion Angelique Kerber 6-4 2-6 6-1.
Halep is yet to lose a set against Mertens, as she won the previous two encounters in straight sets.