21 September 2020

Simona Halep clinches first Italian Open title after Karolina Pliskova is forced to retire

World No 2 Simona Halep won her first Italian Open title after Karolina Pliskova retired injured.

Halep, 28, was leading 6-0, 2-1 when the Czech was forced to pull out after receiving treatment on her lower back and leg. 

Halep said afterwards: "I know that's not the way how Karolina wanted to finish the tournament and the final.

“Good luck in the French Open, hopefully we will meet again there in the final."

Having lost the final in Rome in both 2017 and 2018, she said: “Finally, after two finals I could win this title. I love this tournament and I'm really happy that I have this beautiful trophy in my hands now.”

World No 4 Pliskova said: “It is disappointing not to finish today but Simona was too strong. I have to be ready 100% to play a good match against her.”

Halep, who has won two grand slam titles, will now prepare for the rearranged French Open that is due to begin on September 27 in Paris. 

The Romanian has now won 22 WTA titles and will be looking to seal a second French Open title. 

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