Sports

Ranked Halep to face Siniakova in Shenzhen Open final

Ranked Halep to face Siniakova in Shenzhen Open final

Defending champion Katerina Siniakova fended off Maria Sharapova in a fiercely contested match at the Shenzhen Open on Friday to set up a final with World No. 1 Simona Halep.

The other semi-final is between Irina Begu and fellow Romanian Simona Halep, the reigning world number one.

It's only the second career doubles final for Halep. However, Halep put that big forehand of hers to ideal use and sealed the match.

After her win, Halep said: 'It was a tough match, I know that she's a very strong player and in the second set you could see that she was improving her game.

'I was strong enough to hit the ball [well] in the end'.

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Siniakova hit 10 aces against Sharapova, who is set for a return to the Australian Open which starts on January 15.

Siniakova completely dominated Sharapova in the first set and without much breaking much sweat, she powered to a comprehensive first set victory.

Sharapova smashed 24 winners and five aces, while making just 22 unforced errors to clinch victory in one and a half hour.

The Czech took an early lead after breaking Sharapova in the third game of the opening set and again in the seventh to take an easy first set 6-2. Sharapova's fighting spirit, something that has been her hallmark throughout her career, shone through in this set.

"I'm glad that I ended up being the victor of the match", Sharapova said in a courtside interview.


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