Simona Halep beats Belinda Bencic to reach Madrid Open final
Last Updated: 11/05/19 12:17pm
Simona Halep reached her fourth Madrid Open final after defeating Belinda Bencic on Friday.
The world No 3 overcame Bencic 6-2 6-7 (2-7) 6-0 and she will move back to the top of the WTA rankings with a win in Saturday's final against Kiki Bertens.
"It's a nice feeling to be back in the final of this special tournament. I'm really happy playing here," said Halep.
"In the second set in that tie break I was rushing too much. I lost control of it, but then I just calmed down, told myself I had to start the match again.
"I started to play smarter, opened the court more and became more aggressive."
Two-time Madrid Open winner Halep produced a superb down-the-line shot to seal a vital break in the penultimate game before serving it out to win the set comfortably in 27 minutes.
Bencic reacted well at the start of the second set, playing more aggressively. She broke to go 3-1 up, but Halep battled back, earning a tie-break.
It was Bencic who rallied to win it comfortably and force a deciding set.
But the 22-year-old Swiss started to struggle on court and at three games down she appeared visibly emotional. Halep immediately broke for a 4-0 lead before she wrapped up the match with a bagel set.
It will be a second straight final appearance in Madrid for seventh seed Bertens, who gained revenge on reigning champion Petra Kvitova in the last eight before defeating Sloane Stephens 6-2 7-5 on Friday.
Stephens battled well in the second set and had chances to take it to a decider but Bertens held on.
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