Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina continued her brilliant season with a clinical 4-6, 7-5, 6-1 upset win over injury-hit Simona Halep in the Italian Open final on Sunday.
Svitolina advanced to her maiden Rome final on Saturday when Spanish semi-final opponent Garbine Muguruza, the French Open champion, retired injured as she trailed 4-1 to the big- hitting Ukrainian.
But Svitolina, who ousted Czech second seed Karolina Pliskova in the quarter-finals, showed she was fully deserving of her spot, overcoming a tough first set against the sixth- seeded Romanian to level the match in a fiercely contested second set.
Halep, who won the Madrid Open last week, needed treatment after going over on her right ankle in the second set as she hit a return from the baseline.
In the decider, the Romanian – who had won 26 of her past 30 meetings on clay – was visibly hurting and was helpless to prevent Svitolina from claiming her fourth title of the season after wins in Taipei, Dubai and Istanbul.
Svitolina now has a tour-leading 31 match wins this year and takes over the lead from Pliskova in the Race to Singapore.
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