Seeded Halep rallies to set up Dubai semifinal against Brady

Tanya Simon
February 22, 2020

"Everything was a little bit fast, too powerful".

Despite Sabalenka's recent victory over her, Halep will start the favourite to win this match, although she will have to raise her game after nearly going out to Jabeur.

"I played quicker in the second and third set".

Halep, appearing for the first time since a run to the last four at the Australian Open, lost to Sabalenka in their most recent meeting - in Adelaide in January - but had won her prior two encounters with the world number 13. "So I think that was the key of the match".

"It's good to have tough matches". "Hopefully, I can continue to play like this this year and next year also. I'm happy with these matches".

United States qualifier Brady, who beat third seed Elina Svitolina in the first round, booked her last-four spot by dispatching ninth seed Garbine Muguruza, 6-7 (5/7), 6-3, 6-4.

It means Rybakina has made her fourth semifinal in five tournaments so far this year, with a tie against Martic - who beat Anett Kontaveit 7-6 (7-4) 6-1 - her reward.

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Rybakina won the Hobart title last month and finished runner-up in Shenzhen and St Petersburg.

In the other semifinal, Elena Rybakina will play Petra Martic.

Romania's Simona Halep acknowledges spectators as she walks off court after losing her match against Spain's Garbine Muguruza. Second set, I was 3-0 down but I knew it was going to be easier to win this set than play a third one.

Brady, who ranks just outside the Top 50, has stunned herself with her form this week.

"There's a lot of things that I could have done better", Muguruza, quarter-finalist in 2015 and 2018, said.

"I was not playing wonderful but still, even with a couple of mistakes, I didn't give up".

Brady recovered from a set down against the two-time Grand Slam victor from Spain, winning the second set by breaking her opponent's last two serves. Rybakina has already beaten both the former world No.1, Pliskova, and the Australian Open champion, Kenin, as she eyes her next opponent. "But I'm excited that I gave myself another opportunity to be in the quarters".

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