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Sport Halep into first final of the year after crushing Brady in Dubai

05:25  22 february  2020
05:25  22 february  2020 Source:   performgroup.com

Australian Open champion Kenin crashes out in Dubai

  Australian Open champion Kenin crashes out in Dubai Australian Open winner Sofia Kenin and defending Dubai Tennis Championships champion Belinda Bencic suffered shock first-round defeats.Kenin claimed her maiden grand slam title in Melbourne and then helped the United States to a place in the Fed Cup Finals with a 3-2 win over Latvia.

DUBAI , UAE -- No.1 seed Simona Halep of Romania advanced to her first final of the year on Friday night, ending the run of American qualifier Jennifer Brady , 6-2, 6-0, in In Dubai , though, the top seed had her most straightforward encounter against the rising American, collecting the victory after just 62

Halep , the 2015 Dubai champion, went into the Brady match with a fitness advantage, having spent just three and a half hours on "A final is a final ," said Halep , who will be bidding for a 20th career title on Saturday. "It's always a nice opportunity and privilege to play the last match of the tournament.

Tennis - WTA Premier - Dubai Tennis Championships - Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium, Dubai, United Arab Emirates - February 21, 2020   Romania's Simona Halep in action during her semi final match against Jennifer Brady of the U.S.   REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah © Thomson Reuters Tennis - WTA Premier - Dubai Tennis Championships - Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium, Dubai, United Arab Emirates - February 21, 2020 Romania's Simona Halep in action during her semi final match against Jennifer Brady of the U.S. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah

Simona Halep cruised into her first final of the year after a devastating 6-2 6-0 semi-final defeat of American qualifier Jennifer Brady at the Dubai Tennis Championships.

Top seed Halep came through a testing quarter-final with Aryna Sabalenka, but her last-four match was significantly more straightforward on Friday.

Halep blitzed through the encounter in just 62 minutes, the 2015 champion appearing way more at ease than in the pair's first-round clash at the Australian Open in January, when Brady succumbed 7-6 (7-5) 6-1.

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Dubai Tennis Championships top seed Simona Halep set up a semi- final against Jennifer Brady , while Elena Rybakina will face Petra Martic. It is the first time in Brady 's career that the American has made it into the last four of a WTA Premier event, though she was not fully satisfied with her

Halep , the 2015 Dubai champion, went into the Brady match with a fitness advantage, having spent just three and a half hours on "A final is a final ," said Halep , who will be bidding for a 20th career title on Saturday. "It's always a nice opportunity and privilege to play the last match of the tournament.

Tennis - WTA Premier - Dubai Tennis Championships - Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium, Dubai, United Arab Emirates - February 21, 2020  Romania's Simona Halep shakes hands with Jennifer Brady of the U.S. after winning their semi final match  REUTERS/Christopher Pike © Thomson Reuters Tennis - WTA Premier - Dubai Tennis Championships - Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium, Dubai, United Arab Emirates - February 21, 2020 Romania's Simona Halep shakes hands with Jennifer Brady of the U.S. after winning their semi final match REUTERS/Christopher Pike

World number two and two-time grand slam champion Halep faced only two break points in the entire match and she saved both, while she also hit 16 winners to eight unforced errors in a performance she felt was almost perfect.

"It's fun when you feel the ball and when you can do anything you want," Halep said. "Today it was one of those days, I could open the court easily. I felt like every time I hit the ball, I feel it.

"It's always a nice opportunity and privilege to play the last match of the tournament. I play for another trophy, so I'm relaxed. I'm focused. I really want it."

Elena Rybakina will be Halep's next opponent, with the Kazakh securing progress to a fourth final already this year.

Rybakina showed her resilience to come through a gripping duel with eighth seed Petra Martic, saving set points in both sets before eventually winning 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (7-2).

The 20-year-old has already beaten Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin and former world number one Karolina Pliskova in Dubai, and now she is aiming for the biggest scalp of the lot – and Halep knows she will need to be aggressive to upset the upstart's rise.

"It's amazing what [Rybakina's] done already this year," Halep added. "I saw her a little bit during some matches.

"She has a big serve. I have to pay attention on my return and to be like today: confident, aggressive if there is a chance, just fighting. It's the best thing to do now."

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