Simona Halep defeats Elise Mertens in Prague final to win second straight title

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Simona Halep continued where she left off before the tour shutdown, winning her second successive title at her first tournament back. The top-seeded Romanian beat Belgian third seed Elise Mertens 6-2 7-5 in Sunday’s final at the Prague Open to clinch her 21st WTA title.

The world No.23 Mertens produced a number of winners to open the match with a 2-0 lead, but Halep took absolute control by winning seven successive games. However, it was not smooth sailing for Halep, as Mertens broke back early in the second set and then again to neutralize Halep’s lead by taking the score to 4-4. When Halep broke for the third time to lead 6-5 in the second set, there was no coming back for Mertens any more.

Halep’s road to the Prague Open title was quite rocky, as she needed seven match points to close out a first-round three-setter against Polona Hercog, then recovered from 2-0 down in the third set to beat Barbora Krejcikova in the second round, defeated Magdalena Frech in under an hour for her 55th Tour-level quarterfinal win, and overcame compatriot Irina-Camelia Begu in the semifinals, before getting past Elise Mertens.

The Prague Open is Halep’s eighth WTA title on clay, which is the third best among active players — Serena Williams has won 13 and Venus Williams has won nine.

Apparel info: Halep lifted the Prague trophy wearing the Nike Summer Sleeveless Top, Nike Summer Slam Skirt and Nike Air Zoom Vapor X Royal/Sunblush Tennis Shoes.

Czechs Kristyna Pliskova and Lucie Hradecka celebrated a doubles triumph with a 6-2 6-2 victory over Romanians Monica Niculescu and Raluca Olaru in the final.

After last week’s Palermo Ladies Open completed successfully, despite one player testing positive for coronavirus, the Prague Open has also been carried out without a glitch. These tournaments are bringing back hope that tennis events can run smoothly again, even though without audience and media on site.

In the gallery below you can see all Jimmie48‘s photos from Sunday in Prague.

MORE PHOTOS FROM THE 2020 PRAGUE OPEN:


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