Tennis

Halep dimisses Radwanska to reach final of Qatar Open

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The Canadian Press
2/15/2014 3:17:15 PM
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DOHA, Qatar -- Seventh-seeded Simona Halep of Romania will chase her seventh career title when she plays sixth-seeded Angelique Kerber of Germany, pursuing her fifth trophy, in the Qatar Open final on Sunday.

The 10th-ranked Halep trailed 5-2 in the first set but won seven straight games before defeating second-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland 7-5, 6-2 on Saturday.

Kerber's 6-1, 7-6 (6) win over fifth-seeded Jelena Jankovic of Serbia kept up her record of not losing a set this week.

Halep, who won all six of her career titles last year, won seven straight games to take a 7-5, 2-0 lead in the semifinals.

"I played six finals last year and I am more confident with myself now," Halep said. "I just keep focused to play like it's (the) first round, and I think that's the secret -- to play without pressure, just to keep focused and to be happy on court."

Once Halep calmed her nerves she showed off the diversity in her game with power shots, touch shots, drop shots and the patience needed to reach her first final of the year.

"At 5-2, I said that I have nothing to lose anymore and to change the tactic," Halep said.

The fourth-ranked Radwanska, who was making her third consecutive appearance in Doha, has yet to advance to the finals at this tournament.

"She was making unbelievable shots from nowhere," Radwanska said. "I didn't know what to do to end the point, because she was everywhere."

Kerber has her second final of the year. She lost in the Sydney final to Tsvetana Pironkova last month.

Jankovic broke Kerber's serve in the fifth game to win her only game of the first set but struggled with her own first serve.

The second set was more evenly contested with both players losing serve on two occasions.

"I was just happy I won the match in two sets," Kerber said. "Jelena was playing unbelievably well in the second set."

Kerber served for the match at 5-4 but Jankovic broke serve to even the score at 5-5.

Kerber had two match points in the tiebreaker. She won with a net cord shot which Jankovic could only watch.

"I think I was just lucky and happy that the ball goes over the net on the other side," Kerber said.

Simona Halep (Photo: Canadian Press)

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(Photo: Canadian Press)
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