Simona Halep beats Kristina Mladenovic to defend Madrid Open title

Defending champion Simona Halep will face Stuttgart finalist Kristina Mladenovic in Saturday's Mutua Madrid Open final.

"I was a little bit nervous, to be honest, before the match, because she has a big serve", Halep said of her 6-1, 6-1 win over Vandeweghe.

Doubles partners Kristina Mladenovic and Svetlana Kuznetsova have had more fun on the same side of the net than on opposites sides, as they were pitted together in the second semi-final.

She won her first career title in St. Petersburg in February.

Coric was unable to produce a similar performance to the one which saw him beat world number one Andy Murray of Great Britain yesterday, as Thiem secured a comfortable 6-1, 6-4 success. But now I feel good because I played doubles and I relaxed my body.

However Kiki didn't give up, broke her opponent for the second time in the set and up 5-3, she didn't take advantage of serving for the set as Halep won four games in a row playing aggressive and being inside the baseline. Once again, Halep was tested in the third round as she was up against 2011 US Open champion Sam Stosur in a rematch of last year's semifinal clash. There, she produced one of the sliced drop shots of the championships to bring up set point, and converted at the second attempt to level the match, roaring to the skies as she did so, 7-6 (5). She's a very tough opponent, very hard to play against her.

"I think it was a great final". Once again, Mladenovic recorded an impressive victory over Halep in the third round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, 6-3, 6-3. She will need to serve well against Mladenovic, and she will look to dominate proceedings from the baseline and dictate the rallies.

When the key moments came, Halep seems more prepared.

And make no mistake, Halep has fine clay credentials. "If we both play can go either way".

"Yeah, just head up and only take the positives".

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