Dubai Tennis Championships: Simona Halep captures 20th singles title with tiebreaker win over Elena Rybakina

It was the second Dubai Tennis Championships title for the current Wimbledon champion Simona Halep

The Associated Press February 23, 2020 07:39:15 IST
Dubai Tennis Championships: Simona Halep captures 20th singles title with tiebreaker win over Elena Rybakina
  • Simona Halep won her 20th singles title after prevailing in a third-set tiebreaker to beat Elena Rybakina 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (5) in the Dubai Championships final

  • No. 2-ranked Halep was 3-1 down in the third set. The Romanian broke to lead 6-5, but Rybakina's powerful hitting forced the tiebreaker. Rybakina led 4-3 but Halep converted the only match point

  • It was the second Dubai Tennis Championships title for the current Wimbledon champion Simona Halep

Dubai: Top-seeded Simona Halep won her 20th singles title after prevailing in a third-set tiebreaker to beat Elena Rybakina 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (5) in the Dubai Championships final on Saturday.

No. 2-ranked Halep was 3-1 down in the third set. The Romanian broke to lead 6-5, but Rybakina's powerful hitting forced the tiebreaker. Rybakina led 4-3 but Halep converted the only match point.

Dubai Tennis Championships Simona Halep captures 20th singles title with tiebreaker win over Elena Rybakina

Simona Halep poses with the Dubai Tennis Championships trophy. Image AP

“It was amazing,” Halep said of the 2 1/2-hour final. “(Rybakina) fought till the end. She didn't give up any balls. It was really tough mentally. The pressure was very high. But I want it badly, so that's why I fought till the end.”

The Wimbledon champion won her second Dubai title.

Rybakina knocked out Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin and former No. 1 Karolina Pliskova in earlier rounds, and was playing her fourth final of the young WTA season. She's lost three of them.

Rybakina is projected to rise two spots to a career-high No. 17 in Monday's rankings update.

“She's strong. She's tall. She has power," Halep said. "I think she's really good to get into the top 10 very soon.

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