Halep, Siniakova set up Shenzhen final

Halep, Siniakova set up Shenzhen final

Halep, Siniakova set up Shenzhen final

World No.1 Simona Halep strolled into her second career final at the Shenzhen Open on Friday afternoon by defeating compatriot and No.4 seed Irina-Camelia Begu in straight sets, 6-1, 6-4.

The 26-year-old Halep is guaranteed top seeding for the Australian Open, the season's first Grand Slam, which begins in Melbourne on January 15.

Siniakova hit back impressively to force a decider after being trounced in the opening set, only to then be bagelled as Halep won 6-1 2-6 6-0.

This was her 16th WTA title but the first since reaching the top of the world rankings in October.

Spectators were denied the chance to witness the final as rain continued to fall, eventually forcing tournament organisers to move the contest indoors. "It was a hard match and (Siniakova) played very well", said Halep.

"It was a tough match, I know that she's a very strong player and in the second set, you could see that she was improving her game".

To applause and cheers, Halep shook the boy's hand afterwards and planted a kiss on his cheek.

It was Halep's first victory since the Madrid Open last May and now she's gearing up for Australia, where she is among the favourites after Serena Williams pulled out earlier in the week.

Despite being broken back in the next game, the sixth-seeded Czech maintained her focus to take Halep's serve twice more and level the match at a set apiece.

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