Simona Halep outlasts determined Mladenovic to retain Madrid title

Gradually moving forward, in Miami, the Romanian played in 1/4, in Stuttgart in the semifinals, and now again she made her way to the number of 4 strongest tennis players in Madrid.

In the deciding set Halep managed to make a quick break, and in the seventh game of Simon again took the feed Mladenovic and easily filed into the match, having the first title of the season.

Momentum swung backwards and forwards during a marathon opening set on Estadio Manolo Santana. She'll face No.3-seeded Simona Halep for the fifth time in the final-Mladenovic owns a lifetime record of 3-1 against the Romanian, including a third-round victory at Indian Wells this March. Given this result, plus the ability of Simone to play in Madrid, she is a favorite and the upcoming semi-final. The 23-year-old won her first career title at the Premier event in St.Petersburg defeating Yulia Putinsteva in the final.

Svetlana Kuznetsova completed the semi-final line-up with a 6-4 6-0 win over Eugenie Bouchard.

But she was up against the tall, elegant French woman Kristina Mladenovic who, until relatively recently, had been a big presence on the doubles scene. "There were times we both had, like, some bad moments because we would try too much to change our natural game".

Considering the contraint under which Mladenovic was playing, she put in some fine statistics: 40 winners to 30 errors and, as one might expect, some great numbers around the net, winning 25 out of 30. Later in the set, with Halep leading 6-5, Mladenovic was able to hold serve to send it into a tiebreak, and then won in five points to force a third set.

"I think it was a great final".

Had one perused the 2017 points leaders before this week, Simona Halep's name would not have been easy to find.

"I can just be proud out there from both of us what we showed".

"Yeah, just head up and only take the positives".

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)

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