Simona Halep edges Elina Svitolina after an epic fight — WTA Doha

May JohnsonFeb 19, 2019

Halep, victor in Doha in 2014, was stretched in the 2 hour 1-minute battle on the Center Court before the Romanian won 7-6, 7-6 to seal a semi-final match against Elina Svitolina of Ukraine.

Mertens was unable to consolidate after pegging her opponent back, with Halep impressively reeling off 12 consecutive points to seal the first set.

"Now I change that, and it makes me happier, because I showed myself that I'm able to do that". Honestly it was a tough match.

"She is very strong and I didn't give up". That's why I could win today, because it was a hard one. It is always a nice atmosphere.

"We played so many times against each other", Kerber said.

"It will be a big challenge for me against Elina". She has beaten me a few times.

She added: "She played fantastic".

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The Romanian broke twice to take the opening set, but was pegged back after Svitolina did likewise in the second.

The Taiwanese duo saved three of four break points and converted four of six, winning 58 of the 98 points contested, helped by winning 62 percent of their points on second service. She then met the German No. 1 Angelique Kerber and once again, she caused a massive upset by knocking her out with 6-4, 2-6, 6-1. The 3rd seed won five straight games in set number two for a 6-2, building the momentum that soon faded away.

The third set went into a tie-breaker and Kerber remained calm in front of a rattled and angry Strycova. She emerged as the victor with 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, in a little over two hours. "She was playing good". I knew she fights all the time so I had to be better than her.

"I just look at round per round, and I look at the opponents". We practice a lot. All in all, we have a great fixture here.

For Simona is the 34 final in her career.

For the losing quarter-finalist Muchova, it was her first loss after eight successive wins in the qualifiers. Having won four titles so far, the final today will be Mertens' third straight match against a Top 10 player this week. It's never easy to give up a tournament, a semi-final. "It was a really close match and I think just one, two points decide the match". She also made the semifinals of the Australian Open. "I am just trying to recover and be ready for next match", she added.

Taking everything into consideration, I am going to pick Angelique Kerber to win this match.

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