From Madrid to Madrid, going through Bucarest and Montreal. Simona Halep comes back to win on clay and wins her second title in a row in Madrid, her 15th in career and the first of the year. The Romanian player, who was 5-2 down in the third set earlier this week against Roberta Vinci, didn't have an easy match today in the final against Kristina Mladenovic but a the end won 7-5 6-7(5) 6-2, beating the French player for the second time on five matches played.
In the first game of the match Halep got broken, but then she broke back in the fourth game despite Mladenovic had six game points. However Kiki didn't give up, broke her opponent for the second time in the set and up 5-3, she didn't take advantage of serving for the set as Halep won four games in a row playing aggressive and being inside the baseline.
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. Halep hit an unforced error in the first point, Mladenovic was up 3-0, then 4-2 and on 5-4 she hit an incredible running drop shot, then a forehand winner on 6-5.
It's third set! When the key moments came, Halep seems more prepared. She broke Mladenovic in the third game showing to be doing better physically. The French player was very tired and at the end she lost after two hours and 44 minutes.
She will still be World No. 14 by next Monday (+3 than last week). It's the second final lost this year for Kiki after Stuttgart two weeks ago. She won the St. Petersburg title. Halep will be World No. 4 again, if she keeps playing like this she will be one of the strongest favourites to win Roland Garros, where she reached the final three years ago losing to Maria Sharapova.