Halep, Mladenovic to contest Madrid final

The French player was very exhausted and at the end she lost after two hours and 44 minutes.

Mladenovic made it to her fourth final of the year- and second consecutive - by defeating Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russian Federation 6-4, 7-6 (4).

The Frenchwoman, who will rise to No14 in the world when the new rankings are released on Monday, turns 24 today, and could not celebrate her birthday with a second trophy win of the season. But now I feel good because I played doubles and I relaxed my body. The Romanian player ended up winning other two games and she was up 2-0 in the second set, then Mladenovic broke back her immediately and they came to the tie-break without having any other break point.

Third seed Simona Halep has defeated Kristina Mladenovic in three sets to successfully defend her Madrid Open title.

Mladenovic broke once more to lead 5-3, but couldn't close out the set as Halep battled back to take the last four games and a one-set lead.

Simona Halep thanked much-criticised Romanian Fed Cup coach Ilie Nastase after defending her title, but the 70-year-old's role in the trophy presentation was labelled "irresponsible and unacceptable" by the WTA.

And Halep completely broke Mladenovic's spirit in another epic 14-point game for a 5-2 lead before serving out for the championship to love.

Mladenovic showing off her deft touch at the net, peppering the drop shots and volleys into her game while the former French Open champion pounced on the short balls and cutting off the angles.

"I think it was a great final".

The Frenchwoman improved to 27-8 on the season and 12-2 against the Top 35 with a 6-4, 7-6 (4) takedown of her doubles partner. She will need to serve well against Mladenovic, and she will look to dominate proceedings from the baseline and dictate the rallies. Can Mladenovic make it three out of three? or will Halep resume normality?

"I can just be proud out there from both of us what we showed".

Prediction: Halep to retain the title in straight sets.

  • Rosalie Stanley