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Simona on a roll
Halep overcomes Petkovic

Paris: Simona Halep continued her smooth, efficient run to her first ever Grand Slam final, seeing off a determined but ultimately overmatched Andrea Petkovic 6-2, 7-6 (7-4) in just 89 minutes.

While the other seeds fell by the wayside, 2008 Roland Garros junior champion Halep quietly made her way through the draw with a minimum of fuss, for the loss of just 22 games.

Quietly is indeed the operative word with Halep. Not for her the screams, grunts and shrieks of her peers; instead she lets her stroke play do the talking, and her on-court eloquence is improving with every match she plays.

Petkovic, meanwhile, was the lowest-ranked player to make the semi-finals here since Sam Stosur in 2009, but being seeded (No.28) was an achievement in itself. This time last year she was seeded… in the qualifying tournament, her ranking of No.136 being insufficient for direct acceptance as she struggled to piece her career together after persistent knee and lower back injuries.

A second-round defeat in those qualifiers saw her ready to ditch her racquet and take up journalism, but instead she chose to write a new chapter in her tennis career, battling through ITF tournaments and clawing her way back up the rankings.

When Halep and Petkovic took to the court in the evening sunshine, the crowd was sparse. And those who had remained after the lengthy battle of the blondes between Maria Sharapova and Eugenie Bouchard, soon realised that this was going to be a different, more one-sided contest.

Halep broke to 30 and held to 15, and while the writing was not yet on the wall, it was being traced out in the clay as the Romanian sent her opponent hither and thither across the baseline like a puppet on a string.

Meanwhile, unseeded Anna-Lena Groenefeld of Germany and Jean-Julien Rojer of the Netherlands claimed the mixed doubles crown as they beat eighth seeds Germany’s Julia Georges and Serbia’s Nenad Zimonjic 4-6, 6-2 (10-7)

(Agencies)