Hometown hero Laura Siegemund continued her dream run at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix by reaching the final for the second year in a row with a hard-fought 6-4, 7-5 victory over fourth seed Simona Halep.
Inspired Siegemund Moves a Set Clear
Having completely dismantled Halep in their only meeting in the Porsche Arena last year, Siegemund picked up right where she left off twelve months on from her dream run to the final, giving the Romanian the runaround early and breaking twice to go up 4-0. But Halep, who has looked mightily impressive on clay herself as the tournament has progressed, soon began to find answers to Siegemund’s crafty game, breaking back twice en route to reeling off three games in a row to reduce the deficit to 3-4. The pair wrestled for the upper hand as the opening set drew to a close, but it was Halep who was forced to play catch-up and was unable to stay in touch with Siegemund as the first set went the way of the hometown hero, 6-4.
Siegemund Saves Two Set Points; Takes Topsy-Turvy Second Set to Return to Stuttgart Final
Continuing to impose her crafty game on the former French Open finalist, Siegemund continued to deliver the goods in the early stages of the second but soon found herself on the losing end of a series of breaks that ultimately left Halep within a game of forcing a decider. The Romanian served for it at 5-4, but with her home crowd willing her on, an inspired Siegemund fought off a pair of set points before going on to recover the single break, outduelling Halep from the back of the court to get back on level terms. With the momentum now firmly back in her favour, Siegemund took the Porsche Arena by storm, rattling off the next two games to make it four in a row to complete the upset.
Stats Corner: The Siege On Clay Strikes Again
Since the commencement of this year’s clay court season, Siegemund has thrived on the dirt, notching wins over Venus Wiliams, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Karolina Pliskova and now Halep. After kicking off this portion of the season with a semifinal run on the green clay of Charleston, the German is now into another final on the indoor clay of Stuttgart, and this time she will have the crowd firmly behind her.
Next Up for Siegemund: Mladenovic
Standing in Siegemund’s way of going one better than she did in last year’s final is another red-hot player in Kristina Mladenovic, who ended Maria Sharapova’s comeback tournament in a three-set thriller earlier in the afternoon and has already enjoyed a fantastic week herself in Southwestern Germany.