Halep battles to victory

16 February 2019 04:24:32 EST

Simona Halep was pleased that she was able to keep her focus during her semi-final victory against Elina Svitolina at the Qatar Open.

The Romanian won a fluctuating encounter 6-3 3-6 6-4 in a last-four clash that lasted more than two hours.

Halep, who had beaten Julia Goerges in the quarter-finals, was forced to dig deep before getting the better of Svitolina as she trailed 4-1 in the deciding set before reeling off five games in a row.

She said afterwards: "I'm happy because I didn't give up. The two finals that I played against Elina in Rome I gave up and I was not ready to fight.

"Now I change that, and it makes me happier, because I showed myself that I'm able to do that.

"Elina played amazing. She moved very well. She hit the ball strong. She didn't miss much. So I think it was a very high level of tennis and I'm really proud that I could win the match against her."

Halep will face Elise Mertens in the final after the Belgian beat the third seed Angelique Kerber 6-4 2-6 6-1.

Halep can be backed at 3/10 to win the Qatar Open final while she is 4/1 to triumph in the French Open and 12/1 to emerge victorious at Wimbledon in July.

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