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Simona Halep reaches 40th WTA final of career at Transylvania Open
Awaiting her in the final will be Anett Kontaveit, who will qualify for the WTA Finals if she wins the title.
Published Oct 30, 2021
Two-time Grand Slam champion Simona Halep kept the wins coming at the Transylvania Open in Cluj-Napoca on Saturday, cruising to a 6-0, 6-1 victory over Marta Kostyuk to reach her first WTA final of the year—and the 40th of her career.
It’s her third career WTA final on home soil in Romania—she won the clay-court event in the capital of Bucharest twice, in 2014 and 2016.
“I really wanted to play the final here,” Halep told WTATennis.com. “It’s a home tournament and always when I come here, I feel great. I’m really happy, motivated, and I’m looking forward to playing the final tomorrow.”
Kostyuk had taken just 57 minutes to beat US Open champion Emma Raducanu the day before in the quarterfinals, 6-2, 6-1, but that momentum was completely derailed against Halep, who needed just 62 minutes to take out the Ukrainian, winning the first six (and last six) games of the match.
Halep has a 22-17 career record in WTA finals.
The 2018 Roland Garros and 2019 Wimbledon champion wasn’t the only player to steamroll someone on Saturday—Anett Kontaveit, arguably the hottest player on the tour at the moment, kept her fantastic few months going with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Rebecca Peterson in the other semifinal of the day.
Kontaveit has now won 25 of her last 27 matches and 36 of her last 39 sets, and she’s now reached the final at four of her last seven tournaments—the other three of those events where she reached the final she won the title too, at Cleveland in August, Ostrava in September and Moscow last week.
If she beats Halep on Sunday, she’ll qualify for the WTA Finals in Guadalajara, Mexico, snatching the eighth and final qualifying spot from Ons Jabeur.
“I’ve been really focused on what I have to do, taking it match by match, and just not thinking ahead too much,” she told WTATennis.com. “I think that’s the main thing that’s helped me stay focused on each match and the task that I have.”
Halep has beaten Kontaveit easily in all three of their previous meetings: a 6-3, 6-0 win at Miami in 2017; a 6-2, 6-4 win at Rome in 2017; and a 6-1, 6-1 victory in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open in 2020.
That’s 6-0 in sets, and 36-11 in games.
Kontaveit is 10-0 on indoor hard courts since the US Open, though, which includes four Top 20 wins against Belinda Bencic, Maria Sakkari, Petra Kvitova and Garbine Muguruza—and all of those Top 20 wins were in straight sets.