Halep for the second time won a big tournament in Madrid

by Leon Thompson May 14, 2017, 2:44

Simona Halep shakes off Kristina Mladenovic in an entertaining Madrid Open final, defending her title with a 7-5 6-7 (5) 6-2 victory.

Mladenovic had tweaked her back during her semi-final against Svetlana Kuznetsova and was asked if it hampered her performance against Halep in the final.

Halep will now play American world No.20 Coco Vandeweghe in the quarters after Vandeweghe came back from a set down to defeat Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro 5-7 6-4 7-5.

An incredible drop shot from Mladenovic opened up two set points at 6-4 and she evened the match with a booming forehand down the line. Halep got back on track in the decider, opening up a 5-2 lead and closed out the match comfortably to grab her 15th career title. The French player was very exhausted and at the end she lost after two hours and 44 minutes.

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The pair have never met on clay. Not surprisingly Halep called Darren Cahill down, and whatever he said worked, with a hold and a break back form the Romanian to put herself back on serve, with a good effort to deflect another couple of threatening break point chances as she levelled 3-3.

Halep has been vocal in recent weeks about improving her habit of becoming negative or indifferent when things spiral against her on the court, and she came through her latest test in flying colors, keeping the intensity high to pull away for the trophy.

"I think that was an fantastic final".

But Nastase has been banned from the French Open and Wimbledon after he was ejected from Romania's Fed Cup clash with Great Britain last month for a series of foul-mouthed rants directed at British captain Anne Keothavong and number one Johanna Konta, as well as umpires and members of the press. "I really have to bring up my best game". The last meeting of tennis players was held recently, on April 28 in Stuttgart the Romanian won 6: 3,6: 1. I think it was a great final. Great spirit, attitude, great game.


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