Simona Halep Wins a Hard Fought Battle Against Garbine Muguruza to Reach Third Italian Open Final

Published 09/20/2020, 8:32 AM EDT
Tennis – WTA Premier 5 – Italian Open – Foro Italico, Rome, Italy – September 20, 2020 Romania’s Simona Halep in action during her semi final match against Spain’s Garbine Muguruza Pool via REUTERS//Clive Brunskill


World No.2 Simona Halep extended her winning streak to 13 as she beat Garbine Muguruza in the semifinals of Italian Open 2020. The Romanian continued her dominant run as she overcame Muguruza in a nail-biting three-setter- 6-3,4-6,6-4.

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Halep and Muguruza last played in the Semifinal of Australian Open 2020 where an unseeded Muguruza had stunned Halep in straight sets. Currently, Halep is on a splendid run which started at the Dubai Tennis Championships back in February.

Further, in the tennis restart, she won the Prague Open.

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Muguruza had a disappointing US Open 2020 as she lost out in the second round. However, her Italian Open run was exponentially better. Even though she got a tough draw, she decimated a few tricky opponents in Victoria Azarenka and Coco Gauff.

Simona Halep in action during her semi-final match against Garbine Muguruza Pool via REUTERS//Clive Brunskill

Simona Halep vs Garbine Muguruza: First Set

Halep started off well, getting the break in the first game itself. Halep didn’t look that sharp and Muguruza constantly threatened her second serve.

But at the start, Halep hit some amazing passing shots. Both the players had troubles with their service games and conceded crucial breakpoints. However, Halep was more successful, breaking Muguruza thrice in the set. Muguruza did get a break back but Halep’s consistency turned decisive, earning her a 6-3 win.

.@Simona_Halep is a step closer to the @InteBNLdItalia final!

The No.1 seed takes the opening set 6-3.

Follow the second-set action on the @WTA_insider Live Blog –> https://t.co/IRTxHITU8m pic.twitter.com/Tq0eva3HCA

— wta (@WTA) September 20, 2020

Second Set

Muguruza had a lengthy off-court medical timeout. She looked fine initially, but Halep had made her run around in some long rallies.

While Halep had definitely improved her serve, double faults from Muguruza gave her  a break in serve at 3-1. Halep’s forehand also came handy in the second set.

However, Muguruza placed her shots well and troubled Halep’s backhand. Finally, with some decisive hitting, Muguruza broke back at 3-2.

But the set wasn’t one-sided as both of them had trouble saving their service games. At 4-3, with Muguruza serving, Halep kept charging with her forehands.

In response, Muguruza displayed great defence, saving her service game at 4-4. Muguruza’s patience and toughness rewarded her as she broke Halep to lead 5-4. With some impeccable serving, she won the set 6-4.

.@GarbiMuguruza gets the better of a sensational point!#IBI20 pic.twitter.com/Vk4ZWleOzo

— wta (@WTA) September 20, 2020

Third Set

Muguruza continued her pursuit and asked Halep a lot of questions on the Romanian’s first service game. But in the very next game, some unforced errors gave Halep the break.

Muguruza had a patchy game after that as mistakes by the Spaniard gifted Halep a 3-0 lead in the final set. In no time, Halep was up with a double break and led 4-0.

Muguruza’s shots missed the baseline a lot of times in the third set. It was clear that the Spaniard was trying way too hard.

Halep broke Muguruza for the third time to lead 5-1. However, the Romanian got a bit shaky with her serve at this point, as Muguruza broke back at 5-2.

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Muguruza continued her comeback as she came from 5-1 down to 5-4. Unfortunately, the Spaniard couldn’t hold her serve in a tense game and Halep took the set and match  6-3, 4-6, 6-4.

Wow! 😍@Simona_Halep! #IBI20 pic.twitter.com/xDbWPIO1En

— wta (@WTA) September 20, 2020

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Halep has now reached her 3rd final in Rome. She has been unsuccessful in winning it in the past two finals but given her pedigree and form, Halep goes in as a huge favorite.

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Bhavishya Mittal

900 articles

Bhavishya Mittal is a tennis author for EssentiallySports, who is currently pursuing his Bachelor's degree in Journalism from Manipal University. A former sports editor for The Manipal Journal, Bhavishya has also worked for The New Indian Express. He has a keen eye for many sports but he is a particularly ardent follower of tennis, with a zest to create riveting articles on the ever-evolving sport.

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