AP NEWS

Mertens upsets Halep in Qatar Open final for biggest title

February 16, 2019
1 of 4
Belgium's Elise Mertens reacts after defeating Romania's Simona Halep in a final match of the the Qatar Open tennis tournament in Doha, Qatar, Saturday, Feb. 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Unseeded Elise Mertens came from a set and a break down to beat recent No. 1 Simona Halep 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 in the Qatar Open final and capture the biggest title of her career on Saturday.

Halep led 6-3, 2-0, then lost a service game for a third time to see the second set back on serve. Mertens continued to pressure, missing two more break chances in the seventh game but finally breaking — to love — in the ninth. The set was the first Mertens took from Halep in three matchups.

Mertens broke again to start the third set, Halep leveled at 2-2, but Mertens finished stronger and won her fifth career title.

The Belgian beat two other top-10 players this week, Kiki Bertens and Angelique Kerber.

Halep’s first final appearance since August guaranteed she will rise one spot to No. 2 in the rankings on Monday.

___

More AP tennis: https://apnews.com/apf-Tennis and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

All contents © copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.