Halep tops Pliskova for Dubai title

Dubai, United Arab Emirates (SportsNetwork.com) – Simona Halep captured her
second title of the year Saturday with a straight-set victory over Karolina
Pliskova in the final at the Dubai Tennis Championships.

The top-seeded Romanian earned a 6-4, 7-6 (7-4) triumph for her 10th career
title. She also won the season-opener in Shenzhen last month and Saturday’s
win gave her a record of 10-6 lifetime in finals.

Halep broke serve in the seventh game to take the first set, then had two
chances to serve it out in the second set. Pliskova, though, broke serve in
the 10th and 12th games to force a tiebreaker.

It was 4-4 in the tiebreak before Halep won the final three points to secure
her second Premier 5 level win. Her first came last year in Doha. She will
also rise to No. 3 in the world rankings next week.

Pliskova fell to 3-5 in title matches, including 0-2 this year. She also lost
in Sydney, falling to Petra Kvitova in two tiebreaks.

Saturday’s setback also left the 22-year-old Czech 0-7 lifetime against top-
five opponents.

Halep claimed a first prize of $456,000.