Simona Halep claims first title of 2020 at Dubai Duty Free Championships
Wimbledon winner Simona Halep hurried back from a set down to overcome Elena Rybakina and maintain her first title of 2020.
Top seed Halep, the world No 2, finally came through 3-6 6-3 7-6 (7-5) following a gruelling contest which lasted just short of two-and-a-half hours.
The Rybakina of kazakhstan has risen from 192 to 19 in the world rankings over the past 12 months. The 20-year-old continue to lead 5-2 and appeared on track for another mad after claiming the opening series after a break.
Halep took control of the set at 4-1 before recovering in the loss of serve to break and then level the game.
The deciding set proved a tense affair, with every player broken twice.
It would take more than an hour before Halep, the 2015 Dubai winner, eventually closed out success after she recuperated down in the tie-break to win three consecutive things since Rybakina hit a backhand return long from the research.
“It feels great that I could win it,” Halep said in her post-match media conference.
“[Rybakina] battled until the end. She didn’t give any chunks up. It was tough.
“The pressure was very high. However, I want it badly, so that is why I fought until the end.”
The Romanian, who was cheered on by a vocal support, added:”I’m proud of the week. I’ve given my best.”
The WTA title, her 20th, suggests that Halep is par with Victoria Azarenka in place on title winners’ record. Maria Sharapova, Kim Clijsters, Both Williams sisters and Petra Kvitova sit ahead of her.
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