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April 13, 2021

Simona Halep loses to Serena Williams in Cincinnati, returns to No. 2 WTA

Romanian tennis player Simona Halep has lost on Sunday night to the world’s No. 1 Serena Williams, in the 2,400,000-dollar tournament in Cincinnati. The American won 6-3, 7-6 (5) in one hour and 38 minutes.

The final was balanced; the difference between the first two female tennis players in the world was given by the superior force of Serena Williams and by her significantly greater experience at this level, proven by her 69th trophy. Williams was actually the title-holder in Cincinnati, whilst Simona Halep – still a newcomer with less than two years among the world’s best – has won 11 tournaments.

The match on Sunday was practically decided in the first set, dominated by Williams in particular due to her service; the handicap of the score has weighed much in the second set, when the two players have competed from peer to peer, with the balance finally cut in a tie-break.

Anyway, this was the second consecutive final for Halep since her return to the competition after the Wimbledon failure. She got 585 points and a 240,500 dollars cheque for her presence in the last act in Cincinnati, which allowed her the comeback on the 2nd place in the WTA ranking as of Monday.

Williams, who is targeting this year the victory at US Open in order to make the Grand Slam, secured 900 WTA points and 495,000 dollars in prize money.

Halep withdraws from New Haven WTA tournament

Halep, No. 2 WTA as of Monday, has withdrawn from the 689,063-dollar WTA tournament in New Haven (Connecticut), which started on Sunday and where she was the main favourite, the organizers announced, as quoted by the AFP.

Halep (23 y.o.) played the Toronto and Cincinnati tournaments’ finals, which she lost to Swiss Belinda Bencic (abandon in 3rd set), and to the world leader, American Serena Williams, respectively.

The Romanian felt pain in her left leg in Cincinnati, says Agence France Presse.

The New Haven tournament, which Halep has won in 2013 (last year, she lost there to Magdalena Rybarikova in the round of 16), is the last before the US Open that debuts on August 31..

Halep was to play directly in the round of 16 in New Haven; she was replaced by Lesia Tsurenko (Ukraine) – lucky loser. The latter will play in the 2nd round against Barbora Strycova (Czech Republic), who defeated Italian Camila Giorgi, 6-2, 7-5 in the first round.

Romanian Irina Begu has qualified to the round of 16 by winning 7-5, 5-7, 6-2 to Kazakh Zarina Dias, and she is to play against the winner between 4th seed Lucie Safarova (Czech Republic) and Daria Gavrilova (Russia).

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