World No.4 Simona Halep won her 10th WTA title, and her second this season, after Shenzhen, beating Karolina Pliskova 6-4 7-6(4) in the final of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.
The first set was decided in the seventh game when Halep broke Pliskova to love for a 4-3 lead and went on to a comfortable 6-4 win. The second set had much more ups and downs. The 18th-ranked Pliskova was the first to go up, 2-0. Halep then got back to level and even broke Pliskova to lead 4-3, but Pliskova answered with a break to love and the players were again tied at 4-4. The top-seeded Halep took charge again, stole Pliskova’s serve, but the Czech didn’t allow the Romanian to serve it out, and saved a match point before tying the score at 5-5. Two games later Halep was again serving for the match and had a match point again, but there was no execution and Pliskova forced a tiebreak, in which Halep finally prevailed 7-4.
This week in Dubai, after a first-round bye, Halep beat Daniela Hantuchova, then Tsvetana Pironkova, sixth seed Ekaterina Makarova in the quarterfinals, sixth seed Caroline Wozniacki in the semis, and finally the fast-rising Pliskova, seeded 17th in Dubai.
Halep’s winning apparel: the Adidas Spring Adizero Top with mesh insets on sides and the matching Adidas Spring Adizero Skort with built-in short. Shoes: Adidas Adizero CC Tempaia III.