Simona Halep notches a remarkable double at the Shenzhen Open

Romanian world No.1 Simona Halep enjoyed a winning start to the 2018 season as she lifted both singles and doubles title at the Shenzhen Open.

After a four-hour rain delay, the top-seeded Halep started her singles match against defending champion Katerina Siniakova and earned a strong 6-1 2-6 6-0 victory in 74 minutes. The Romanian did not face a single break point and won 70% of her service points in a powerful first set display but had her serve broken three times in the second as her 21-year-old Czech opponent staged a comeback.

However, 26-year-old Halep showed just why she was the world No.1 in the final set, winning 24 out of 30 points as she served her opponent a bagel to complete the victory in some style. The trophy marks Halep’s sixteenth career title and second in Shenzhen after her win in 2015.

En route to the title, Halep defeated American Nicole Gibbs in the first round, China’s Duan Ying-Ying in the second, Belarus’ Aryna Sabalenka in the quarterfinal and fourth-seeded compatriot Irina-Camelia Begu in yesterday’s semifinal.

Both Halep and Siniakova also played the doubles finals shortly after their singles match. Halep and partner Irina-Camelia Begu fought back from a set down to defeat the top-seeded Czech pair of Katerina Siniakova and Barbora Krejcikova 1-6 6-1 10-8 in 65 minutes. The win marks Halep’s maiden doubles triumph in her second final and the fifth of Begu’s career out of eight finals.

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