Simona Halep eased into the Prague semi-finals
Simona Halep claimed the Prague Open title Image Credit: Reuters

Romanian star Simona Halep produced a scintillating performance as she thrashed Elise Mertens in straight sets to clinch the Prague Open title, adding to the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship crown she won in her last competition in February.

The top seed beat No. 3 Mertens 6-2, 7-5 in the summit clash that lasted one hour and 33 minutes on Sunday.


The world No. 2 has now collected back-to-back trophies six months apart as the coronavirus-enforced WTA Tour shutdown meant her last competitive event was in Dubai in February, extending her winning streak to nine matches.

“It was really tough to get back to official matches after such a long break,” she said. “The emotions after staying in the room for 10 days were not easy — but you know, I have to take the positives also, I was able to win the tournament which means a lot.

“I was a little worried at the beginning but here we felt very safe, and all the restrictions and rules were respected — we can do tournaments like this week, I feel it’s a big chance for us to participate again. It’s very different and a little stressful and we have to adjust ourselves, but the fact that everyone was good these 10 days means that everything was really well done.”

This was Halep’s 21st career WTA trophy — the fifth-highest tally of active players behind only Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Kim Clijsters and Petra Kvitova.