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Halep passes Rybakina in Dubai for the 20th career title

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In an intense match that reached the limit, Simona Halep, seed number 1, overtook the rising star Elena Rybakina, conquering the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship in a final tie-break.

Of WTA staff

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – The seed n. 1 Simona Halep was forced to the limit, but struggled to get the hard-won second title of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, while the Romanian reacted from a set-down to overcome the Kazakh increase Elena Rybakina, 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (5) in the classic final on Saturday evening.

Reigning Wimbledon champion Halep, who also won the Dubai trophy in 2015, returned from a 3-1 crash in the final set to take the title of her twentieth WTA career after nearly two and a half hours of unpredictable play .

World No.2 Halep marked its first title of the season as it approaches its 318th consecutive week in the Top 10 – the tenth longest series in WTA history. She also obtained redemption from her only previous meeting with Rybakina, where the Romanian was forced to retire in the first set of the 2019 Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open match due to a back injury.

With her 20th title, Halep reached the level with Victoria Azarenka in sixth place on the list of winners of the active title (behind Serena and Venus Williams, Kim Clijsters, Maria Sharapova and Petra Kvitova).

Despite the defeat, Rybakina, who was in his fourth final out of five events this season, will continue to level up, while he is expected to reach number 17 in Monday’s new rankings, up two points from his current high of career position of no. 19.

After a fierce first game, Rybakina’s sinewy power allowed her to advance as the first set took shape. Halep found herself in danger in serving in the second game of the game, having to save a breakpoint, even if the Romanian got into trouble on that occasion.

However, on 3-2, Halep slipped a 40-15 lead as Kazakh’s exceptional return led to another breaking point. In that case, Rybakina gave up the break after a lengthy error in law by Halep, as the unseen player took a major 4-2 lead. The Kazakh was not overwhelmed by his first big advantage, using strong service to move forward 5-2.

After holding 5-3 in love, Halep finally had the chance to serve Rybakina, holding on to two set points before making two break points. However, Rybakina calmly beat those breakpoints with an ace and a winner who forced the mistakes, and scored a third set point after a large return from Halep. There, another broad return from the upper suit gave Rybakina a rough edge in a set.

Halep, however, was undaunted, and after canceling a breakpoint in the first game of the second set, the Romanian moved on. Halep fired a straight winner for the triple break point at 2-1 and after a Kazakh counterattack, the former champion had earned the first break of the night and a 3-1 lead. An ace helped the top seed to end another game and a solid 4-1 lead.

Rybakina, however, would continue to work for a full-scale win, eliminating two 4-2 break points, then returning to service at 4-3 after a game full of mistakes from Halep. Despite stumbling, Halep took over the lead in the set, converting his fourth breakpoint to a huge game full of grueling rallies to slide forward 5-3.

Serving to level the game, Halep found a much needed ace at 30-30, giving himself a fixed point. There, a direct rally forced Rybakina to make a mistake, and the fighters were stuck at one point each.

Rybakina, however, took the upper hand at the start of the decision maker, getting a tough 2-1 service take, then earning a break point in the next game with a huge return off of a second Halep serve. Halep was forced to suffer a double fault in the next point, and Rybakina was ahead with a 3-1 break in the final set.

Kazakhstan’s mistakes in the next game immediately gave Halep the break and the Romanian remained in service until he was able to break Rybakina once again, forcing the errors with an exceptional defense for a 6- advantage. 5.

In the service of the game in that game, however, Halep was never able to reach the meeting point, as the young Kazakh’s powerful blow brought the topsy-turvy’s inclination to his inexorable conclusion – a decisive tie- final set break.

In the breaker, Rybakina scored another huge return from a second serve to go up 4-3, but Halep immediately recovered the minibreak with a vicious winner by right. In the end, Halep claimed the only meeting point after a large backhand from Rybakina, who converted to polish a tiring tilt and get a noteworthy noteworthy for the 20th WTA.

More to follow ….

Dubai 2020 highlights: Halep battles Rybakina for 20th career title



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