The Ladies’ Final at the Mutua Madrid Open was played on Sunday afternoon. Fighting for the title, prize money of €698,720 and 1,000 points were 2nd seeded Maria Sharapova and 4th seeded Simona Halep. The Russian led the head to head 2-0, but those matches were in 2012, well before Halep’s spectacular rise up the rankings when she was hovering around number 50 in the WTA rankings – and neither of these two matches was a whitewash, even though they were straight sets wins. Sharapova’s credentials are well known, but this was Halep’s 11th WTA final. She had already won three out of four of her Premier Level finals, but had never been to a Premier Mandatory Level final. The Russian had lost in the quarters of this tournament in 2012 and in the final last year, both times to Serena Williams.
Sharapova started proceedings on Manolo Santana Court and was broken immediately. Halep, with great serving and accurate all court play, ran up a 4-0 lead in under 20 minutes. The Russian eventually held her serve to trail 1-4, but Halep held and broke again to take the set 6-1 in just 30 minutes.
The Romanian got the second set underway but this time the Russian got the immediate break. The second game was a marathon and after 15 minutes of play in the second set, Sharapova had a 2-0 lead. Halep then held and games went with serve until the Russian broke again in the 7th game and held to take the set at 6-2 with far better serve stats than in the first set.
Simona started the decider and the first two games went with serve. Sharapova then broke twice to lead 4-1, but Halep got one break back and a hold to keep in touch at 3-4. Sharapova held and Halep served to stay in the match, but Sharapova held on to take the set 6-3 and the championship title in just under two hours.
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