After three previous failed attempts, Simona Halep’s fourth match for No. 1 was the charm as she beat Jelena Ostapenko 6-2, 6-4 to gain revenge on the Latvian for her French Open loss and also finally ascend to No. 1.
“It’s very emotional, I think it’s the first time I cried on court,” Halep said. “It’s amazing that I could do this. My team, everyone at home is watching, and I want to thank everyone. It’s my special day.
“When I was five points away, I felt that I want it more and more. I try just to not think too much about that, to stop thinking, because you feel the pressure when you’re thinking too much.
“I will never forget this day or this tournament. I always get great support in China, and I’m waiting for tomorrow – the tournament is not finished.”
In the final tomorrow, Halep will meet the red hot Caroline Garcia. The Frenchwoman dispatched Petra Kvitova 6-3, 7-5 to win her 10th straight after taking Wuhan last week.
“It was definitely very tight. Like in the first set, every game was very important. She was serving first, so I was down every single time,” Garcia said.
“But I know against these kind of players, you have to be focused on your serve, try to be the most aggressive and put the pressure on the return when you have the chance. Sometimes you will get aces or serve winner. You just have to keep trying.”
Halep leads Garcia 2-0 including a win this summer in Canada.
“It’s going to be a battle for sure. I played her in US, in Canada,” Garcia said. “She’s a very tricky player. I will have to play my best to have a chance.”
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