Simona Halep sets up Doha semi-final showdown with Elina Svitolina

Simona Halep sets up Doha semi-final showdown with Elina Svitolina

In one of the most anticipated matches at Qatar Total Open, the top seed Simona Halep took down the 4th seed Elina Svitolina 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 in two hours and seven minutes, beating the Ukrainian for the first time in four matches.

Despite that, the top seed managed to break that streak of defeats to Svitolina and made it to the final in Doha for the second time in her career.

The Belgian captured the second set and started her final set momentum strong with a break to open the final set after Halep knocked her backhand into the net.

Earlier, Svitolina produced a slick performance to beat qualifier Muchova 6-4, 6-2 in 82 minutes.

After losing the first set rather tamely, Kerber got her show together and put pressure on the 32-year-old opponent.

That being said, this is expected to be a tough challenge for Mertens as she is playing one of the elite players in the tennis world.

"She moved very well and she hit the ball strong". It is well known that Halep is not immune to underdogs and the Belgian can certainly give her adversary a run for her money.

Halep had eased to victory over Lesia Tsurenko in her first match under the guidance of new coach Thierry Van Cleemput and the Romanian raced into a 4-0 lead over Goerges.

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Halep is the reigning French Open champion and Angelique Kerber, who she beat in the semi-finals, holds the Wimbledon title. She then met the German No. 1 Angelique Kerber and once again, she caused a massive upset by knocking her out with 6-4, 2-6, 6-1.

It was the turning point of the match. "This is one of the best that I've played, the second set was nearly ideal", Nishikori said. "I was very happy I could do it in two sets".

"We played so many times against each other", Kerber said.

After two thrilling semifinals, Elise Mertens and Simona Halep met for the right to capture the Doha title.

Mertens, who defeated fifth-seeded Kiki Bertens in the quarterfinals, has failed to win a set against Halep in her previous two meetings - both on clay a year ago.

The Japanese top seed set up a semi-final with treble Grand Slam victor Stan Wawrinka, who had his troubles before putting away Canadian Denis Shapovalov 6-4, 7-6 (7/4). "I was trying to play better than I did in the first set".

"I think it really helps when you play Fed Cup", added Mertens.

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