Halep and Mertens to meet in final of WTA Qatar Open

Julia Goerges 2019 Doha

Julia Goerges 2019 Doha

Simona Halep won five games in a row in the deciding set of an astonishing match against Elina Svitolina in Doha on Friday to power through to the Qatar Open final.

The Chan sisters took just 61 minutes to complete a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Lara Arruabarrena of Spain and Kaitlyn Christian of the USA in their quarter-final at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex.

Mertens was unable to consolidate after pegging her opponent back, with Halep impressively reeling off 12 consecutive points to seal the first set.

"It is always a challenge to play against her", Halep said of her match against Svitolina today. "She's very strong on the legs".

Halep described her dramatic win as "unbelievable".

This proved to be futile for Kerber, with Mertens dominating the third set and triumphing 6-1.

The 2014 Doha champion was pleased to set the record straight to move into her first final of the season.

On the other side of the coin, Angelique Kerber enters this match having won her previous match in 3 sets.

She said it outshone her achievement in getting to the Australian Open semi-finals in 2018.

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Juraj Kucka headed in from Massimo Gobbi's cross to give the visitors the lead five minutes before half-time. The first for a foul on Kucka and the second for dissent immediately after the booking.

"I am very happy".

Trailing 4-1, Kerber bounced back in the opener to level the score at 4-4 before losing serve again in game ten with a forehand error to hand the set to the Belgian.

Mertens scored her second top-10 victory of the week as she battled past three-time Grand Slam champion Angelique Kerber 6-4, 2-6, 6-1.

After two thrilling semifinals, Elise Mertens and Simona Halep met for the right to capture the Doha title.

Mertens, who defeated fifth seed Kiki Bertens in the quarter-final, has failed to win a set against Halep in her previous two meetings - both on clay a year ago.

"I just look at round per round, and I look at the opponents", Mertens said.

Svitolina, who broke Muchova in game eight of the first set and then a couple more times in the second, later praised the Czech youngster for a great fight. "I like here. I always play good tennis", added Halep who has won almost 29 million dollars in prize money so far. I didn't know much about her or her style.

"I think it really helps when you play Fed Cup", added Mertens.

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