Doha, Qatar (4E Sports) – Simona Halep pulled off an upset at the Qatar Total Open Saturday, ousting No. 2 seed Agnieszka Radwanska, 7-5, 6-2, in the semifinal to match the biggest win of her career.
Radwanska looked headed for another routine victory, storming out to a 5-2 lead in the first set but the No.7 Halep won eight games in a row to go up 7-5, 3-0 and take total control of the match.
“It’s been an unbelievable tournament for me,” Halep said after the match. “I played really well tonight. When I was 5-2 down in the first set I told myself I have nothing to lose anymore, so I changed the tactics.”
Halep extended her winning streak against Top 10 players to five in a row. He last loss to a Top 10 player came against Serena Williams at Cincinnati last August.
Also, her victory over Radwanska matched the best win of her career. She also defeated a No.4-ranked Radwanska at Rome last May.
Awaiting Halep in the final is No. 6 Angelique Kerber, who beat No. 5 seed Jelena Jankovic in the first semifinal earlier in the day in a tight two-setter, 6-1, 7-6(6).
Halep beat Kerber in the pair’s only previous meeting, though it was five years ago at an ITF Women’s Circuit event and 7-5 in the third set.
On the men’s side, Fabio Fognini defeated third seed Tommy Robredo, 3-6, 7-5, 6-3, Saturday, booking a spot in the Copa Claro final.
Fognini will face either two-time defending champion David Ferrer or 2011 titlist Nicolas Almagro for the Buenos Aires title.
The Italian extended his streak of consecutive ATP World Tour clay-court finals to five with the victory, improving to 23-1 on the surface since Roland Garros last year.
In Rotterdam, Tomas Berdych moved one win away from lifting his first ATP World Tour title since October 2012.
The third seed Berdych defeated Ernests Gulbis 6-3, 6-2 in 76 minutes Saturday in the semifinal of the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam.
Berdych will next meet Marin Cilic or local wild card Igor Sijsling in Sunday’s final.