Top seed Simona Halep and Belgian Elise Mertens, seeded third, will meet in the summit clash of the WTA Prague Open following their respective wins in the semifinals.
Halep secured her second berth in a final this season with a 7-6(2), 6-3 victory over compatriot Irina-Camelia Begu on Saturday.
“I didn’t play my best tennis but also she was tired, so in my opinion, it was a good match,” Halep said in her on-court interview as per the WTA website. “I’m really happy that I could win it. It’s always tough to play against her. She’s a great player.”
On the other hand, Mertens went into the semifinal with a perfect record over her opponent Kristyna Pliskova, beating her in both previous meetings. However, she had to toil hard this time around as she defeated Pliskova 7-5, 7-6(4) in a match that lasted for almost two hours.
“It was a really close match, just a couple of points of difference,” said Mertens. “We both served well, so it was difficult to break each other, especially when our first serve was in. She can hit balls either way, so it was difficult to get the point started.”
Halep owns a 3-1 head-to-head edge against Mertens, including a 2-0 mark on clay where she lost just six games in four combined sets.
“I played her at the Australian Open this year and it was a close one,” said Mertens about her meeting with Halep. “She’s in the final, so she’s got a lot of matches in and will be confident.
“I’ll try to improve, see what I can do better. I’ll try to do that today and tomorrow morning, but I’ll just try to focus on my main things: a good serve and a good return,” the Belgian added.