Halep heading to Melbourne on a high after Shenzhen triumph
World number one Simona Halep will go into the Australian Open on the back of a tournament victory after overcoming Katerina Siniakova to win a topsy-turvy Shenzhen Open final on Saturday.
Halep, who is guaranteed to be the top seed at Melbourne Park, ultimately triumphed comfortably in a match played behind closed doors following a lengthy delay brought about by torrential rain.
Siniakova hit back impressively to force a decider after being trounced in the opening set, only to then be bagelled as Halep won 6-1 2-6 6-0.
The Romanian was the only member of the world's top 40 playing in Shenzhen and will now enjoy a week away from competitive action before aiming to end her long wait for a first grand slam title.
Spectators were denied the chance to witness the final as rain continued to fall, eventually forcing tournament organisers to move the contest indoors.
Players are on court. We are starting soon pic.twitter.com/4A146hVUEM— Shenzhen Open (@ShenzhenOpenWTA) January 6, 2018
When play finally began, almost five hours later than scheduled, Halep raced through the first set, but was swiftly pegged back as Siniakova found form.
If Halep was frustrated at letting her lead slip, she responded in the ideal manner - dropping just six points in the deciding set.