Halep defeats Begu 6-1, 6-4 to reach Shenzhen Open final


In this photo provided by China's Xinhua News Agency, Maria Sharapova of Russia celebrates after winning a quarter final match against Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan at the WTA Shenzhen Open tennis tournament in Shenzhen, south China's Guangdong Province, Jan. 4, 2018. (Mao Siqian/Xinhua News Agency via AP)

SHENZHEN, China (AP) — Top ranked Simona Halep moved into the final of the Shenzhen Open by defeating fourth-seeded Irina-Camelia Begu 6-1, 6-4 on Friday.

Halep had 15 winners and four service breaks to advance to her second career final in Shenzhen.

“It was a tough match, I know that she’s a very strong player and in the second set, you could see that she was improving her game,” Halep said. “I was strong enough to hit the ball (well) in the end.”

Halep maintained her perfect record against her doubles partner, improving to 6-0 against Begu.

Halep will face the winner of the second semifinal between defending champion Katerina Siniakova and five-time major winner Maria Sharapova.

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