Romanian tennis player Simona Halep, world number three, on Friday advanced to the women’s singles final at the 7,021,128-USD Madrid Open tournament after defeating Swiss Belinda Bencic, world number 18, in the semi-final 6-2 6-7 6-0.
Halep, who will return to number one if winning the trophy, got a hard-fought victory after almost two hours of play (1 h 57 min).
She was a champion in Madrid in 2016 and 2017.
Halep brought her head-to-head count with Bencic to a 2-2 tie, after Bencic won the 2015 Toronto Open final 7-6 (5) 6-7 (4) 3-0 as Halep withdrew, and the 2019 Dubai Open quarter-finals 4-6 6-4 6-2. Halep’s oldest victory came in the R32 at Wimbledon 6-4 6-1.
The Romanian won 608,700 euros and 650 WTA singles points for her performance so far in Madrid. In the final on Saturday, she will play the winner between American Sloane Stephens, world number eight, and Dutch Kiki Bertens, world number seven).