Dubai Tennis Championships: Simona Halep Crushes Jennifer Brady to Reach Final, to Face Elena Rybakina

AFP

Dubai: Simona Halep beat US qualifier Jennifer Brady 6-2, 6-0 on Friday to reach a second career final at the Dubai Championships.

The world number two, who won the title in 2015, will play on Saturday against Elena Rybakina, a 7-6 (5), 7-6 (2) winner over Petra Martic.

Halep had the fitness edge against Brady, who had spent more than nine hours on court this week to the Romanian's three and a half.

RYBAKINA IN 4TH SEASON FINAL

Elena Rybakina will play her fourth final of the season after a 7-6 (5), 7-6 (2) defeat of Petra Martic on Friday at the Dubai Championships.

The Kazakh, who has won a WTA-leading 19 matches in 2020, took two and a quarter hours to outlast her more experienced Croatian opponent who led 3-0 in the second set.

Rybakina won the Hobart title last month and finished runner-up in Shenzhen and St Petersburg.

After a modest 2019 season, the 20-year-old has improved 150 places to 19th in the rankings.

"It's amazing," she said. "Hopefully, I can continue to play like this and next year also.

"The first set, it was not easy because she plays good, with really good slices.

"In the second set, of course, I was 3-0 down, but I knew it was going to be easier to win that set than play a third one.

"In the important moments I managed to serve really good. I was fighting every point, just fighting."

Martic, ranked 15th, reached the semis without losing a set. She has won one career title at Istanbul in 2019.

Rybakina saved set points in both sets. In the opener she also wasted three set points before ending the tie break with a crisp volley winner at the net.

She went down a break early in the second set to trail 3-0 but hit back to level at 4-4.

Rybakina saved a pair of set points in the 12th game to force a tiebreaker and dominated in the decider to advance.