WTA Doha: Elise Mertens outlasts Simona Halep to claim biggest title of her career
Mertens' constant pressure eventually overwhelmed Halep

After two thrilling semifinals, Elise Mertens and Simona Halep met for the right to capture the Doha title. Despite being a set and a break down, the Belgian captured the biggest title of her career.

Quick Strike

Halep broke early in the first at love, really dictating the play to start the match. The top seed of the tournament looked to be the aggressor in the early stages as she Mertens was the one playing defensive.

The Belgian leveled by breaking in the sixth game, but Halep got off to another lead in the following game with a backhand down the line winner. An overhead from the Romanian put her a break ahead once again, and a third break at love closed out the opening set 6-3.

Halep was dominant in the opening set (Quality Images/Getty Images)
Halep was dominant in the opening set (Quality Images/Getty Images)

The Fightback Complete

Down a set and 0-2, Mertens was able to break back, ending a run of 14 consecutive points dropped in the process between sets one and two. After breaking back, the two battled back and forth in a tight second set which saw each woman fend off break points for four consecutive games until Mertens made her breakthrough in the second to last game of the set.

The Belgian captured the second set and started her final set momentum strong with a break to open the final set after Halep knocked her backhand into the net. Despite the lead, Mertens remained under constant pressure from Halep who eventually broke back for 2-2.

Halep was unable to hold strong however, getting broken back in the following game after missing her forehand in the open court just wide. That blip swung the momentum in Mertens' favor for good, breaking to close out the match after a wayward backhand from Halep.