Simona Halep saves match point to win exhilarating match against Bianca Andreescu at WTA Finals
Simona Halep saved match point to win a thrilling match against US Open champion Bianca Andreescu at the WTA Finals in Shenzhen.
The Wimbledon champion was down a set and just a point away from defeat at 5-6 in the second, but came back to win an incredible battle 3-6 7-6(6) 6-3.
It was the first time these two had played against each other, and while it was played at a high level, Andreescu began to wane towards the end of the match.
The Canadian started off well as she used her mixed game to good effect while rushing Halep in some of the exchanges.
Her break of serve was cancelled out but when Halep saved three further break points in the fifth game it was clear Andreescu was in the zone.
The 19-year-old broke Halep’s next service game with an outrageous short cross-court forehand the highlight.
Halep could not fight back and a forehand into the net from the Romanian gifted another break and the first set to her teenage opponent.
Andreescu’s 15 winners in the first set simply overpowered Halep, whose errors towards the end of the set really hurt her cause.
The pair traded breaks in the beginning of the second set, but when Halep finally consolidated her second break to get a 4-2 lead, a third set looked imminent.
But Andreescu once again came back, with the help of an incredible through-the-legs shot to take the second set deep.
Andreescu held a match point on Halep’s serve at 5-6, but a down the line backhand winner saved Halep and the Romanian converted her third set point to take the match into a decider.
Both Andreescu and Halep had outstanding three-set records in 2019, with Andreescu winning 15 and losing just four, while Halep won 14 and lost seven times.
Once again, Andreescu showed incredible fortitude to come back and break early on, but that was just the start of some amazing twists and turns.
Halep's coach Darren Cahill begged her to go forward and attack the net, and that seemed to make all the difference as she got back on level terms and broke again to close out this exhilarating encounter.