DOHA: Top seed Simona Halep came back from 4-1 down in the deciding set to beat Elina Svitolina 6-3 3-6 6-4 in the Qatar Open semi-final yesterday, marking her first victory over the Ukrainian in nearly two years.
Halep made an aggressive start and claimed an early break with a scorching backhand winner to set the tone for the evening.
The Romanian clinched the opening set before WTA Finals champion Svitolina upped her aggression from the baseline to snatch a break for 2-1 lead in the second set.
After bagging the second set, Svitolina claimed an early break again in the final set, while also frustrating her opponent with her relentless court coverage. Seeking another break of serve to close out the match, Svitolina came out on top in several high-octane rallies during an eight-minute sixth game and held three break points for a 5-1 lead in the final set.
But Halep summoned her powers of recovery to fend off all three points and went on to clinch five straight games en route a remarkable victory.
Halep faces unseeded Belgian Elise Mertens in today’s final. Mertens battled past three-times Grand Slam champion Angelique Kerber 6-4 2-6 6-1.