Simona Halep hasn't had a smooth journey so far at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships this week. But every time she has been pushed to the brink, she has managed to raise her game and storm back for the win.
If Ons Jabeur nearly pulled off the upset in Halep's very first match of the week, then it was the seventh seed Aryna Sabalenka's turn to give the Romanian a scare in the quarter-finals. The latter win should boost her confidence level further for the Belarusian blew away the Wimbledon champion in their Adelaide International meeting just one month back. Halep had absolutely no answer to Sabalenka's all-out attacking game then and this time too, it seemed to be heading the same way when the World No. 13 pocketed the first set 6-3.
The former French Open champion, however, did not let that bother her. Using her brilliant footwork, she patiently broke the Sabalenka serve five times over the next two sets to earn the hard-fought 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 win in 1 hour 36 minutes.
Up next for the World No. 2 is the 52nd ranked giant-killer Jennifer Brady, a qualifier at this WTA Premier tournament. The American has beaten the likes of two-time champion Elina Svitolina, 2020 Australian Open runner-up Garbine Muguruza as well as 2019 French Open finalist Marketa Vondrousova.
Clearly Brady will be arriving at this match on a high but Halep would surely be a different ballgame altogether. The Romanian has beaten her both times they met with their most recent showdown being at the Australian Open this year. With the field witnessing so many upsets this year, Halep remains the most accomplished player of the four women left, with the other semi-final being played between eighth seed Petra Martic and Elena Rybakina. The 2015 champion most certainly would not like to give up this opportunity of winning her first title of the year in Dubai.
Here's all you need to know about Dubai Tennis Championships 2020 Schedule:
Tournament: Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships
Category: WTA Premier
City: Dubai, UAE
Venue: Aviation Club Tennis Centre
Prize money: $2,908,770
Match schedule: (1) Simona Halep (ROU) vs (Q) Jennifer Brady (USA) semi-final match not before 8:30 pm IST on February 21, 2020
Live Telecast: There will be no live telecast in India
Live Scores: Click here
Head-to-head: Halep leads 2-0