Shenzhen Open: Simona Halep crushes compatriot Irina-Camelia Begu to reach final

first_imgWorld number one Simona Halep continued her dominance ahead of the Australian Open with a crushing straight sets victory over fellow Romanian Irina-Camelia Begu to reach the Shenzhen Open final in China on Friday.In an hour an 29 minutes, Halep triumphed over Begu 6-1, 6-4 and sealed a second career final at Shenzhen.Halep’s precision and counter-attack helped her dominate Begu and her 15 winners on the day powered her to victory.The top seed began in a perfect fashion and broke Begu early on to race to a 4-1 lead. Begu kept faltering, unable to find her stride, and it was a comfortable first set victory for the world No.1.It was not all that easy for Halep in the second set as Begu kept her on her toes, even leading the set 3-2 at a point. However, Halep put that big forehand of hers to perfect use and sealed the match.”It was a tough match,” Halep said in a courtside interview. “I know she is a strong player and in the second set you could see she was improving her game so it was a tougher battle.”I think I was strong enough to stay there and hit the ball stronger in the end because the energy was falling a little bit. I came back, I served pretty well in the last game and I’m pretty proud of my victory today, it was a tough one.”Halep will be up against defending Katerina Siniakova of Czech Republic, who later in the day beat former world No.1 Maria Sharapova in a gruelling three-setter.advertisementSharapova battled for almost two hours against the defending champion but the challenge proved to be too strong for the Russian star, who is still trying to hit her stride since returning from the doping ban.In an hour and 55 minutes, Siniakova beat Sharapova 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 to set up the title defence clash against Halep.It were Siniakova’s 10 aces as compared to Sharapova’s just one that made the difference in the match.Siniakova completely dominated Sharapova in the first set and without much breaking much sweat, she powered to a comprehensive first set victory.Sharapova, however, came roaring back in the second set and upped her game to take the second set 6-3. Sharapova’s fighting spirit, something that has been her hallmark throughout her career, shone through in this set.It was a very close game in the final set but again, Siniakova planted those big serves in the right moments to edge out Sharapova.(With inputs from Reuters)last_img read more