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Halep Digs Deep To Reach Bucharest Final

Top seed Simona Halep overcame Monica Niculescu and her bag of tricks to reach the final of the inaugural Bucharest Open. Meeting her there will be Roberta Vinci.

Published July 12, 2014 12:14

Halep Digs Deep To Reach Bucharest Final
Roberta Vinci

BUCHAREST, Romania - WTA Rising Star Simona Halep overcame an inspired Monica Niculescu on Saturday to reach the final of the inaugural Bucharest Open.

Despite an indifferent run of results heading into the tournament, Niculescu has thrown the form book out of the window this week, and for a brief moment at the end of the second set it looked like Halep would also fall under her spell.

Bamboozling her fellow Romanian with her usual bag of tricks, Niculescu recovered from losing a one-sided opening set to level the match following a run of four straight games in the second. However, as she has on so many occasions in the past 12 months, Halep weathered the storm to emerge triumphant, fending off a break point in the first game of the decider before moving through the gears to complete a 6-2, 4-6, 6-1 win.

Meeting her in the final will be No.2 seed Roberta Vinci, who ran out a 6-1, 6-3 winner over Kristina Kucova.

Vinci has struggled for form this season, but arrived in Bucharest on a high, following her doubles victory alongside Sara Errani at Wimbledon. And she looked full of confidence from the outset against World No.166 Kucova, breaking in the first game thanks to a perfectly weighted drop shot.

Kucova would have to wait until the fifth game to get on the scoreboard and by that point the set was already beyond her. Even a brief rain shower at the start of the second was unable to stop Vinci's march towards her first final of the season, and after just over an hour on court she wrapped up victory with an ace down the T.

"It was a semifinal, so, of course, it was a tough match," Vinci said. "It was difficult conditions - a lot of wind, no sun, rain - but I played a good game and am really happy to be in the final.

"It will be a tough match tomorrow. The support will be with the Romanian girl and not me, but it's natural. For now, I just want to stay focused and I will try my best."

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