Tennis: Halep cruises into Transylvania Open final

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Oct 31 2021 09:14 AM

Romania's Simona Halep throws her racket as she reacts during her quarter final match against Greece's Maria Sakkari. File photo. Maxim Shemetov, Reuters
Romania's Simona Halep throws her racket as she reacts during her quarter final match against Greece's Maria Sakkari. File photo. Maxim Shemetov, Reuters

CLUJ-NAPOCA, Romania -- Top seed Simona Halep dropped just one game as she cruised through her Transylvania Open semi-final against Marta Kostyuk on Saturday.

The local star beat the Ukrainian teenager 6-0, 6-1 in a minute over an hour.

"I really wanted to play the final here," Halep said on-court after the match. 

"It's a home tournament and always when I come here, I feel great. I'm really happy, motivated and I'm looking forward to play the final tomorrow." 

She will face second seed Anett Kontaveit on Sunday.

The Estonian made slightly harder work of her semi, dropping five games as she beat Swede Rebecca Peterson 6-3, 6-2 in 63 minutes.

Halep broke serve six times and saved the only break point she faced in her first service game of the match.

Kostyuk managed to avoid being blanked by holding serve at the start the second set.

When the pair met in the second round at Indian Wells earlier in October, Kostyuk led in the first set before Halep fought back to take it in a tie break and then won in straight sets.

"I knew that I had to play a little bit faster, more aggressive and to open the court a little bit more," Halep said. 

At Indian Wells "she didn't miss very much as she did today, but I think I took the ball faster and quicker, and the serve helped me today."

Kontaveit, who won the Kremlin Cup last week, took her ninth straight victory as she reached the fourth final in her last seven tournaments to continue a late charge for a place in the WTA Finals in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Victory in Sunday's final would push her into the top eight and give her a spot in the season-ending event for the first time.

"I've been feeling really good on the court, and today wasn't as easy as the scoreboard seemed. I really had to fight for it," Kontaveit said after the match.

"Everything's been pretty automatic this week," she said. "I think I've been playing well, I've been playing aggressive, and my shots have a lot on them."

Kontaveit has met Halep three times and not taken a set.

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