Simona Halep Stunned In Doha By Elise Mertens

Published 02/16/2019, 1:45 PM EST
Elise Mertens


The former World Number one, Simona Halep played rollercoaster matches previously to get into the Doha Open finals and set up a clash against the Belgian, Elise Mertens. The World Number 21, Mertens battled past the top-seed Halep to clinch the biggest crown of her career. Halep dominated in the opening of the match and refused to give up, she won 18 consecutive points across five games from 3-3 and consequently captured the first set. Nevertheless, Mertens rallied from a set and a break down and outlasted the Romanian ace 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 in the title match. 

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Elise Mertens

En route to the title, the former World Number 12 surpassed Kiki Bertens and Angelique Kerber in the quarterfinals and semifinals, respectively. It is the fifth title for Mertens in her career and the first-ever WTA Premier-level glory. Halep seized an early break in the second set but Elise swiftly responded to that. Mertens exercised her control at the beginning of the deciding set and took a lead 2-0 and Simona Halep fought back to equalise the decider. The unseeded Mertens displayed some courageous tennis and pulled it off as Halep hit a wide backhand on her serve. The European women tussled for 133 minutes for the Qatar Total Open title. The time spent in Qatar was probably a dream week in Mertens’ career. 

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The Romanian, Simona Halep played intense tiebreakers with the German, Julia Gorges in the last eight and three-set nail-biting semifinal against the Ukrainian, Elina Svitolina. “I didn’t give up today and I promised myself I would never give up against her again,” said top seed Halep after her semifinal victory. 

Simona Halep

“She’s a very good fighter and it’s probably the best match of the tournament so far. I was strong in my legs and I was definitely not tired. It means a lot to me to win here and the crowd were pretty awesome.” Despite Halep’s loss in Doha, Halep will move a spot upwards on the WTA scale and will be declared as World Number 2 on Monday.

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Mahalakshmi Murali

1907 articles

Mahalakshmi Murali joined EssentiallySports in 2018 as a tennis author and has gone on to pen more than 1800 engaging articles, probing into various aspects of the sport and its illustrious players. With her expertise on the sport, Mahalakshmi has interviewed stalwarts from the sport such as Serena WIlliams’ coach Patrick Mouratoglou and Kevin Anderson’s physio, Carlos Costa. Equipped with her vast experience and a keen understanding of the sport, Mahalakshmi now co-heads the tennis department.

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