Simona Halep wins Prague Open, will not participate in U.S. Open

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Simona Halep has won the Prague Open on Sunday after defeating Belgian Elise Mertens 6-2, 7-5, claiming her 21 WTA title.

World no. 2 Halep has claimed victory in an hour and 33 minute game against Mertens (24, WTA’s 23rd).

This is Halep’s second title this year after the Dubai Open won in February, just short before the WTA tour shut down for five months.

Mertens started the match with a 2-0 lead, but Halep regained momentum and formidably won seven games in a row and the set.

In the second set, Halep lost her early break advantage, then broke again and took the lead at 4-2, only for Mertens to hit back and level the score at 4-4, but then Halep broke to lead 6-5 and sealed the victory with a heavy forehand.

At the same time, Halep has announced today that she would not compete in the US Open.

After weighing up all the factors involved and with the exceptional circumstances in which we are living, I have decided that I will not travel to New York to play the @usopen I always said I would put my health at the heart of my decision, Simona said in a Twitter post today.

It will be the first Grand Slam starting Wimbledon 2010 onwards where Simona Halep will not compete.

This year, the US Open will take place in special health safety conditions due to the coronavirus pandemic. the Flushing Meadows tournament is due August 31-September 12.

More players had already announced their withdrawals from the US Open over COVID-19 fears. So, among the absents this year there are Rafael Nadal (en-titre champion), Nick Kyrgios, Gael Monfils, Fabio Fognini, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Stan Wawrinka, Ashleigh Barty, Bianca Andreescu (en-titre champion), Belinda Bencic, Kiki Bertens, Julia Goerges, Elina Svitolina, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Fiona Ferro, Qian Wang, Barbora Strycova, Saisai Zheng, etc.

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