Semifinal. Halep def Svitolina

Match Recap from Announcer Andy Taylor, Voice of the Qatar Total Open

Announcer Andy Taylor. Qatar Total Open 2019. Day 5 Semifinal Halep Victory

Simona Halep returns to the Qatar Total Open Final

Significant win for 2014 Champion Simona Halep, who’s struggled against Svitolina in their last three meetings. Since her 6-0 deciding-set Quarterfinal win over Elina at the 2017 French Open, Halep hasn’t won a single set off the reigning WTA Finals Champion.

Tonight’s Semifinal their most competitive clash

In set-1, Simona broke before the first changeover, then Elina gave up the set with a double fault. The second set was completely identical, only Svitolina was in the driver’s seat. This time, Halep gave it up with an unforced error.

Svitolina gained an early edge in the decider, but the entire match came down to an 8-minute hold from Halep. After several exhausting rallies and missed break opportunities, Svitolina ran out of steam. Halep won five consecutive games, earning another shot at Doha’s famous falcon.

Head to Head: 7th meeting between these two players

  • Doha 2019 SF | [1] Simona Halep -03- (ROU) def [4/WC] Elina Svitolina -07- (UKR) | 63 36 64
  • Rome 2018 F | [4] Elina Svitolina -04- (UKR) def [1] Simona Halep -01- (ROU) | 60 64
  • WTA Finals 2017 RR | [4] Elina Svitolina -04- (UKR) def [1] Simona Halep -03- (ROU) | 63 64
  • Toronto 2017 SF | [5] Elina Svitolina -05- (UKR) def [2] Simona Halep -02- (ROU) | 61 61
  • Roland Garros 2017 QF | [3] Simona Halep -04- (ROU) def [5] Elina Svitolina -06- (UKR) | 36 76(6) 60
  • Rome 2017 F | [8] Elina Svitolina -11- (UKR) vs [6] Simona Halep -06- (ROU) | 46 75 61
  • 2013 Sofia RR | [1] Simona Halep -14- (ROU) def Elina Svitolina -40- (UKR) | 61 61

Simona Halep – Always Doha’s main attraction

When here, Simona brings the fans. In her Premier-5 Doha debut 7-years-ago, she fell to eventual champion Victoria Azarenka. Two years later, she won her first Premier-5 title, and went on to reach her first Major Final at the 2017 French Open.

Since then, she’s packed center court at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex. Thanks to traveling Romanians and a strong local fan base, this always feels like a home court. In 2016, she lost her opening match to an inspired Elena Vesnina. Last year, a toe-injury forced Simona Halep to bail after a Quarterfinal win over Cici Bellis.

This is Halep’s first “Premier” Qatar Total Open since 2013. Expect a pro-Romanian crowd here in Doha tomorrow night – especially after last weekend’s Fed Cup victory over the Czech Republic in Ostrava. For the first time since 1973, Romania is through to the World Group Semifinals.

Elina Svitolina – Trending in the right direction

Before this week, Elina Svitolina was 2-4 in Doha. Last year, she took-out Marketa Vondrouseva after a 1st-Round Bye, then fell in straight-sets to eventual champion Petra Kvitova. This year, she took out 2016 Finalist Jelena Ostapenko and Qualifier Karolina Muchova.

With two solid victories and a competitive match versus the World #3, the reigning WTA Finals Champion is reestablishing rhythm just in time for the season’s first Premier-5 event in Dubai. Two years ago, she captured her first of four Premier-5 titles at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships — upsetting World #2 Angelique Kerber in the Semifinals, then Caroline Wozniacki in the Final.

[1] Simona Halep -03- (ROU) | Semifinal Announcer Introduction

She is through to her 2nd straight Qatar Total Open Semifinal after a thrilling victory over World #16 Julia Görges last night, in 2 tie-break sets. Over the weekend, she and her Fed Cup Teammates defeated 11-time Fed Cup Champions, the Czech Republic, lifting Romania to the Fed Cup World Group Semifinals for the first time since 1973. She is the reigning French Open Champion, is a 4-time Grand Slam Finalist, owns 18 WTA Singles titles, and has held the World #1 ranking for a remarkable 64-weeks. Five-years-ago on this court, she came into Doha as the World #10 and defeated 3 fellow top-10 opponents to capture the title. Back in Doha for the 6th time – From Romania, please welcome 2014 Qatar Total Open Champion, Simona Halep.

  • SF — W | [4/WC] Elina Svitolina -07- (UKR) | Score: 6-3, 3-6, 6-4
  • QF — W | [9] Julia Görges -16- (GER) | Score: 7-6(1), 7-6(6) | RECAP
  • R2 — W | Lesia Tsurenko -24- (UKR) | Score: 6-2, 6-3 | RECAP
  • R1 — BYE

[4/WC] Elina Svitolina -07- (UKR) | Semifinal Announcer Introduction

The reigning WTA Finals Champion – She is through the Qatar Total Open Semifinals for the first time, with straight-sets victories over 2016 Finalist Jelena Ostapenko and Qualifier Karolina Muchova. She won 4 of her 13 WTA Singles titles last year – and on clay in Rome, earned her 6th career victory over a World #1 to capture the Italian Open. By season’s end, she qualified for the WTA Finals for a second time, and absolutely crushed it; defeating five fellow top-10 opponents to earn the biggest title of her career, finishing the season ranked inside the top-5 for the first time. Competing in her 5th Qatar Total Open – From Ukraine, please welcome the #7 Player in the World, Elina Sviolina.

  • SF — L | [1] Simona Halep -03- (ROU) | Score: 3-6, 6-3, 4-6
  • QF — W | [Q] Karolina Muchova -133- (CZE) | Score: 6-4, 6-2 | RECAP
  • R2 — W | Jelena Ostapenko -22- (LAT) | Score: 6-4, 6-4 | RECAP
  • R1 — BYE