Italian Open: Halep, defeated by Svitolina in the final

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Romanian tennis player Simona Halep, 1st WTA, was defeated on Sunday by Ukrainian player Elina Svitolina, 6-0, 6-4, in the final in the WTA tournament in Rome.

Halep lost in just 67 minutes in front of world’s fourth player, Svitolina successfully defending the title won last year after a final against Simona, 4-6, 7-5, 6-1.

Simona Halep was completely uninspired in the first set, during which Svitolina showed a special desire to win. The set, won by the Ukrainian 6-0, lasted only 19 minutes, and Halep won only 8 points (Svitolina won 24), with a percentage of only 15% of the points won with the first service.

Simona needed a medical break in the second set, but managed to continue the match.

Svitolina is now leading Halep with 4-2 in the direct matches. Simona won 6-1, 6-1 in 2013 in Sofia, and at Roland Garros in 2017, 3-6, 7- 6 (6), 6-0 in the quarter-finals. The Ukrainian player won the final in Rome in 2017, in the semi-finals in Toronto 6-1, 6-1, and at the Champions Tournament 6-3, 6-4, and now again the final in Rome.

It is Svitolina’s 12th career title, and her third of the season after hoisting trophies at the Brisbane International and the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. Svitolina now has an impressive 12-2 record in WTA finals, and owns four wins over World No.1 players during her burgeoning career.

The winner in Rome is rewarded with a cheque worth EUR 507,100 and 900 WTA points, while Halep will collect EUR 253,425 and 585 WTA points.

Simona Halep, however, remains leader of the WTA rankings to be published on Monday and will be the main favourite at Roland Garros, which will kick off on May 27.

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