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Halep, Kontaveit ease into final

Simona Halep has reached a WTA final for the 12th straight season after routing Ukrainian teenager Marta Kostyuk 6-0 6-1 and setting up a title match against Anett Kontaveit of Estonia at the Transylvania Open.

Kontaveit, who won the Kremlin Cup in Moscow last week, extended her winning streak to nine matches by beating Rebecca Peterson of Sweden 6-3 6-2 on Saturday.

The 63-minute victory, the Estonian’s 25th in her last 27 matches, put her into a fourth final in her last seven tournaments and sixth of the year overall.

“I’ve been feeling really good on the court, and today wasn’t as easy as the scoreboard seemed. I really had to fight for it,” Kontaveit said

Halep had to hold off a break point in the opening game but was in full control afterward, only conceding the first game of the second set when the 55th-ranked Kostyuk managed to hold serve.

The top-seeded Romanian is 3-0 against second-seeded Kontaveit and didn’t drop a set in those matches, including a 6-1 6-1 win in the quarterfinals of last year’s Australian Open.

Halep, who is seeking her 23rd WTA title, has won a tournament in Romania twice before – in Bucharest on clay in 2014 and 2016.

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