Saturday, 21 October, 2017

Simona Halep secures long-awaited win over Maria Sharapova

Maria Sharapova takes a selfie with fans after her Round Two victory over Ekaterina Makarova in Beijing China yesterday. PICs  GETTY IMAGES AFP Maria Sharapova takes a selfie with fans after her Round Two victory over Ekaterina Makarova in Beijing China yesterday. Pics Getty Images AFP
Hilda Schwartz | 08 October, 2017, 00:53

She is 26 and has been on the pro circuit for the last 11 years.

Simona Halep was presented with floral bouquet in the shape of the number one following her World No 1 ranking ascent.

The second set started with 4 good holds, which was important for Ostapenko to regain her confidence, but she got broken in game 5 after netting an easy forehand, which was her 25th unforced error since the start of the match!

"I expect a tough one, but it's going to be a big challenge either way, so I have to think what I have to play against them, and just try to do my job like I did today", Halep said.

A straight-sets victory over Jelena Ostapenko in the semi-finals of the China Open means Halep will replace Garbine Muguruza at the top of the WTA rankings on Monday.

The tournament in Beijing has already seen Halep register a first career victory over Russian Maria Sharapova, and the second seed now has an opportunity to level her head-to-head with Jelena Ostapenko, who beat her in this year's French Open final.

Air France Airbus A380 Flight AF66 suffer mid-air engine failure
Visuals posted on social media by passengers and their friends showed extensive damage to the front of the outer starboard engine. No-one was hurt as the pilots landed in Goose Bay , in Canada's easternmost province just after 3.30pm on Saturday, local time.

The former world No. 1 was forced to retire during her Beijing opener due to illness. I'm really happy that I could do this.

That said, with 9 of the Top 10 players entered (only Venus didn't make the trip), Simona Halep was the only Top 8 player to make the semifinals. It's the best moment in my life and I want just to keep it.

If the Frenchwoman wins the China Open, Konta must reach the final of the Kremlin Cup, which starts on 16 October, to claim the eighth and final place at the season finale in Singapore.

In the men's draw Nadal defeated Grigor Dimitrov 6-3, 4-6, 6-1 in their semi-final.

"She was hitting the ball consistently, not making a lot of unforced errors, her service percentage was quite high".

That has consequences for Great Britain's Johanna Konta, who is battling Garcia for the last spot at the WTA Finals.

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