DOHA, February 16, 2019
Elise Mertens is the champion of the Qatar Total Open. The unseeded Belgian upset the tournament’s No. 1 Simona Halep of Romania 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 in Saturday’s singles final at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex in Doha.
After a slow start, Mertens rallied from a set and a break down, broke her opponent’s serve seven times to secure victory in two hours and 13 minutes. The World No. 21 defeated three Top 10 players in the last three rounds overall, as she also defeated Kiki Bertens from the Netherlands and Germany’s Angelique Kerber in the quarterfinals and semi-finals, respectively.
— WTA (@WTA) 16. Februar 2019
Mertens clinched her fifth WTA career title, her first of the season, earning $158,898 in prize money as well as 470 WTA-Ranking points.
“I was really happy the way I played this week, actually. I’m happy about the process that I made, starting out playing less well and then getting better every match.
“This is why you do it, to beat those top 10 players and getting the victory at the end,” Mertens was quoted on the WTA website.
“It’s a big moment for me, getting this victory. Of course playing in a Grand Slam and getting the semis is really a great achievement, but I wanted a step further to getting this trophy.
“Playing against those Top 10 players, which I back to back did this week, and especially also with the tennis I played, I think this one would be the nicest victory.”