Madrid Open: Simona Halep beats Belinda Bencic to reach final

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The 27-year-old player from the Netherlands looked dominant throughout the summit showdown as she eased past reigning French Open champion Halep 6-4, 6-4 in nearly one and a half hour to lift the title. Halep has a ideal record of 4-0 at the Madrid Open semifinals.

"I feel unbelievable of course, it's great to be in the final and I'm happy to finish it in two (sets)", said Bertens. WTA Madrid final - Percentages Simona Halep 51% Kiki Bertens 49%. She's yet to win a tournament in 2019, though.

"Well, I have no idea how it will be in the next weeks, but in this moment, I'm happy with my game, I'm happy that I could go through this week", Halep said. Belinda Bencic controlled the tiebreaker to win the tiebreaker 7-2. Halep won eight break points in the match.

The defeat was extra painful for Halep, though, who would have regained her number one ranking had she won the showpiece.

Tenth seed Serena started her clay-court season with a commanding 6-4 6-2 over Rebecca Peterson at the Foro Italico.

Venus, unseeded in the Eternal City, came through an almighty tussle with Elise Mertens 7-5 3-6 7-6 (7-4). What makes her path to that easier is the defeat of Petra Kvitova in another quarter-final.

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The evergreen Federer did not drop a game in a dominant first set but was dragged into an intense battle by an inspired Monfils before prevailing 6-0, 4-6 7-6 (3). She's 8-2 overall. "She deserved to win the match definitely". She's the only player to do this in tournament history.

On the other hand, Victoria Azarenka lost consecutive Madrid finals in 2011-12.

And so the mighty Romanian maintains her assault on reclaiming not just the Madrid title but the No1 ranking.

"I am extremely disappointed to have my time in Madrid end in this way".

Victory in Saturday's final puts Halep on top of the world.

Bertens missed out again but earned a third championship point when Halep narrowly missed the baseline and she finally seized her ninth WTA title when the world number two hit a backhand out. After five deuces, Osaka fired another ace to hold for a 4-2 edge. Bertens downed Halep 2-6, 7-6 (6), 6-2 previous year on a hard surface in the final at Cincinnati. But they had never played on clay. Belinda Bencic battled past World No. 1 in one of the best performance in her career.

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