Simona Halep lost out on a place in the final of the Australian Open 2020. The World No. 4 could not get past the resurgent Garbine Muguruza, losing 7-6(8), 7-5. The contest lasted just a little over 2 hours, as the unseeded Muguruza confirmed her place for Saturday. Halep missed out on a chance to add to her tally of two Grand Slams, while Muguruza can now add to her two Grand Slams.
Simona played well but made untimely errors that allowed her opponent to take advantage. Muguruza did make a ton of unforced errors (44), but made up for it with 39 winners. She was also happy to go on the attack every time Halep played a loose ball. Simona, for her part, could not take advantage of the fact that she was the fresher of the two coming into the match. She had not lost a single set en route the semi final.
Halep credited her opponent for being brave after the match.
“In the important moments she played a little bit more braver.”
The Romanian had her share of chances to take control of the match. She failed to take multiple set points at 6-5 and also in the tie-break. Having lost the tie-break and first set, she could not hide her frustration.
— SimoReactions (@Simoreactions) January 30, 2020
Simona Halep Talks Pain
Simona was in control for the majority of the second set. In fact, the match looked destined for three sets. Muguruza though, had other plans. The Spaniard was showing some signs of fatigue and she decided to counter it by turning the heat up and attacking the ball more.
Halep had only to hold her serve at 5-4 and the match would have gone to a deciding set. Unfortunately for her, Muguruza managed to break back just in time and consolidated it by holding her next serve. Under the cosh now, Halep looked nervy on her serve and Muguruza took full advantage by going attacking all out and taking the set and match.
Simona Halep is known for her defensive skills, which are possibly second to none in women’s tennis. However, she was unable to draw on it during clutch points.
Post match, Halep admitted she could have done a bit more to at least extend the match.
“To lose like this hurts more, definitely. I’m in pain now, I have to admit. I think maybe I could be a little bit more brave in the points that were important. I didn’t do that.”
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 30, 2020
The Romanian will now have to wait for the US Open to capture a Grand Slam title on the hard court.