With win over Bencic, Halep is one win away from returning to No. 1

With win over Bencic, Halep is one win away from returning to No. 1

The defending French Open champion will face Kiki Bertens for the Madrid title.

Simona Halep is one win away from reclaiming the No. 1 ranking after getting past Belinda Bencic on Friday, 6-2, 6-7 (2), 6-0, to secure a place in the Madrid final.

Halep immediately set the tone in this match, outplaying Bencic with her penetrating groundstrokes to run away with the first set in just 28 minutes. The second set was a different story, as Bencic raised the level of her game, winning a tiebreak to force a deciding set. The Romanian took back control in the third and never looked back.

 

Bencic, who was playing her first semifinal match in the Spanish capital, should be proud of her performance this week. On Wednesday, she knocked out top-seeded Naomi Osaka. That win left the door open for the 27-year-old Romanian to possibly takeover the top spot.

Halep will face Kiki Bertens for the title. The former—not for long?—No. 1 leads Bertens 3-2 in their head-to-head meetings.