Halep picks up 20th WTA title by squeaking past Rybakina in Dubai

Halep picks up 20th WTA title by squeaking past Rybakina in Dubai

The world No. 2 won a 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (5) comeback match to fight off the 20-year-old newcomer.

Simona Halep emerged with her 20th career title on Saturday by beating Elena Rybakina in the Dubai final. The match came down to the final seconds as the world No. 2 came back to win, 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(5).

Halep fought back from a set down as well as a 1-3 deficit in the third set. She was appearing in her first tournament since reaching the Australian Open semifinals, and picks up her second career Dubai title, having won it in 2015.


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Rybakina, a 20-year-old relative newcomer to the tour, was playing in her fourth final in five events. She won in Hobart for her second career WTA crown. The Kazakh is projected to rise to No. 17 on Monday, marking her career-high ranking. One year ago, she was ranked No. 192.

Halep will remain at No. 2 behind Ashleigh Barty.