World No. 2 Simona Halep held off a pair of late surges from fellow former No. 1 Garbine Muguruza on Sunday afternoon to reach the final of the Premier 5 event in Rome for the third time in her career.
A rock solid Halep looked to be cruising early on against a somewhat erratic Muguruza, building a 6-3, 4-2 lead, but the Spaniard won four games in a row to level it at a set apiece. And after Halep once again surged ahead in the third set, 5-1, Muguruza came alive again, bringing it back to 5-4.
But the Spaniard fell behind 15-30 while serving to stay in the match at 4-5, and back-to-back double faults on the next two points—her seventh and eighth of the day—gave Halep a 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 win.
With Saturday’s win, Halep extended her winning streak to 13 matches in a row, having gone 4-0 to win Dubai in February, 5-0 to win Prague in August and 4-0 so far in Rome this week. Her last loss on the tour came in the semifinals of the Australian Open in January to her opponent today, Muguruza.