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Halep through to final in Rome

Halep through to final in Rome
Simona Halep returns a shot to Garbine Muguruza during their semi final match on Sunday.
ROME, Sep 20 (Agencies) | Publish Date: 9/20/2020 12:33:32 PM IST

Simona Halep reached a third Italian Open final with a hard-fought win over Garbine Muguruza in Rome.

The two former French Open winners will be among the favourites in Paris and there was little to separate them in a 6-3 4-6 6-4 victory for Halep that entertained the 1,000 fans allowed into the Foro Italico.

The Romanian began brilliantly and looked on course for a relatively straightforward victory when she led by a set and 4-2, only for Muguruza to reel off four games in a row.

The Spaniard had heavy strapping on her left thigh and Halep looked much the better physically as she moved into a 5-1 lead in the decider.

She was then broken twice serving for the match but Muguruza was unable to level the set, her disappointment obvious as she served back-to-back double faults to end the match.

Halep will hope it is third time lucky having lost to Elina Svitolina in the final in both 2017 and 2018. The Romanian, meanwhile, is now on a 13-match winning streak having won titles in Dubai in February and Prague in August.

Nadal stunned by Schwartzman 

Defending champion Rafa Nadal crashed out of the Italian Open with a stunning 6-2, 7-5 defeat by Argentine Diego Schwartzman in the quarter-finals.

The nine-times Rome champion, who had won all nine previous meetings against Schwartzman, struggled with his serve throughout the match and made a series of uncharacteristic unforced errors that proved to be his undoing.

The Italian Open was the Spaniard’s first tournament in over seven months and while he cruised through the previous two rounds, his rustiness showed from the outset against the 15th-ranked Schwartzman.

Nadal committed 30 unforced errors to Schwartzman’s 17 and had his serve broken five times.

Nadal will now travel to Paris, where he will look to clinch a record-extending 13th French Open title.


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