‘I didn’t play my best tennis,’ says Simona Halep as she battles into Prague Open final

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Simona Halep delighted

Simona Halep concedes she was far from her best during her semi-final win over Irina-Camelia Begu in the Prague Open, but vowed to come up with “good tennis” in the final against Elise Mertens.

The two-time Grand Slam winner was broken three times in the first set by her compatriot Begu, who completed her quarter-final match earlier in the day, and battled to take the tie-breaker before running away with a 7-6 (7-2), 6-3 win in one hour and 31 minutes.

“I didn’t play my best tennis but also she was tired, so in my opinion, it was a good match,” Halep said during her post-match interview. “I’m really happy that I could win it. It’s always tough to play against her. She’s a great player.”

She added: “She was playing really well at that point and she was kind of dominating the match,” Halep added. “Sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s bad to play long matches because sometimes you get the rhythm, and sometimes you get tired.”

Next up is third seed Mertens for Prague Open trophy after the Belgian defeated Kristyna Pliskova 7-5, 7-6 (7-4).

“The final is always difficult. It doesn’t matter what we did before,” Halep said. “I’m going to give my best because I really want to win it, but it’s never easy. I’ll just try to recover until tomorrow and enjoy that I’m going to play another final.

“I’m confident that I can play good tennis against her, but she’s a very tough opponent as well. I’m just trying to fight, to keep fighting until the end and to never give up.”

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