Simona Halep takes on Kristina Mladenovic in Madrid Open final

Simona Halep takes on Kristina Mladenovic in Madrid Open final

Simona Halep takes on Kristina Mladenovic in Madrid Open final

She takes on Kristina Mladenovic in the finals at the 2017 Mutua Madrid Open.

The Romanian No3 seed, who is the first player to feature in three finals in the Spanish capital, is just the second woman to claim the trophy in consecutive seasons (Serena Williams won it in 2012-13).

Mladenovic had tweaked her back during her semi-final against Svetlana Kuznetsova and was asked if it hampered her performance against Halep in the final.

In the first game of the match Halep got broken, but then she broke back in the fourth game despite Mladenovic had six game points.

After trailing in the first set 5-3, Halep won four straight games to take the opening set 7-5. With her run to the final, she was on 21 wins from of her last 24 matches on clay, with her most recent success coming in Fed Cup wins against GB and her semi run in Stuttgart.

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In the end a tense seventh game culminated in defending champion Halep making the most of her third break point and getting the job done, despite her opponent's best efforts.

Halep will now play American world No.20 Coco Vandeweghe in the quarters after Vandeweghe came back from a set down to defeat Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro 5-7 6-4 7-5. "There were times we both had, like, some bad moments because we would try too much to change our natural game".

Mladenovic's free-hitting and inventive use of volleys and drop-shots kept Halep off balance, but the world No.8's superior mobility eventually told, as she earned a double break without giving up her own serve to seal a hard-fought crown. "I'm here in the final". Also from playing doubles, Mladenovic doesn't hesitate to come forward to the net and finish off points quickly. Even though I'm leading in our head-to-head, we never played on clay, I think. Can Mladenovic make it three out of three? or will Halep resume normality?

However, Halep responded to break back in a marathon game as it took almost half an hour for the score just to reach 2-2.

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