Halep To Face Mertens In Prague Open Final

STARNBERG, August 15, 2020

Simona Halep and Elise Mertens will compete in Sunday’s singles final of the Prague Open. Halep, the top seed of the WTA International Event, emerged victorious from the all-Romanian semi-finals with Irina-Camelia Begu, winning 7-6(2), 6-3.

The World No. 2 capitalized on all of her six break point chances to advance in one hour and 31 minutes.

Earlier on Saturday, 24-year-old Mertens from Belgium edged past home favourite Kristyna Pliskova from the Czech Republic. The No. 3 seed sent down seven aces and won 76 per cent of her first-service points to prevail 7-5, 7-6(4) after one hour and 56 minutes.

“It was a really close match, just a couple of points of difference,” said Mertens, quoted by the WTA website. “We both served well, so it was difficult to break each other, especially when our first serve was in. She can hit balls either way, so it was difficult to get the point started.

“In the end, it was just one break difference in the first set and I think I managed it well at the end. In the second set, we were both winning our serve, and although I made a couple of errors in the tiebreak, I stayed mentally tough.

“The more matches you play, the more confidence you get, the more you know how you’re playing and how you have to play.”

Halep and Mertens will meet for the fifth time with the Romanian leading 3-1 in their head-to-head record. She also won the last match between the two in the round of the last 16 at the Australian Open in January.