Halep wins Dubai tiebreaker to secure 20th title

Wimbledon champion Simona Halep won her second Dubai Championships title on Saturday. (AP)
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Updated 23 February 2020

Halep wins Dubai tiebreaker to secure 20th title

  • Wimbledon champion wins her second Dubai Championships title

DUBAI: Top-seeded Simona Halep won her 20th singles title after prevailing in a third-set tiebreaker to beat Elena Rybakina 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (5) in the Dubai Championships final on Saturday.
No. 2-ranked Halep was 3-1 down in the third set. The Romanian broke to lead 6-5, but Rybakina’s powerful hitting forced the tiebreaker. Rybakina led 4-3 but Halep converted the only match point.
“It was amazing,” Halep said of the 2 1/2-hour final. “(Rybakina) fought till the end. She didn’t give up any balls. It was really tough mentally. The pressure was very high. But I want it badly, so that’s why I fought till the end.”
The Wimbledon champion won her second Dubai title.
Rybakina knocked out Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin and former No. 1 Karolina Pliskova in earlier rounds, and was playing her fourth final of the young WTA season. She’s lost three of them.
Rybakina is projected to rise two spots to a career-high No. 17 in Monday’s rankings update.
“She’s strong. She’s tall. She has power,” Halep said. “I think she’s really good to get into the top 10 very soon.”


FIFA cancels all June internationals over virus

Updated 6 min 41 sec ago

FIFA cancels all June internationals over virus

  • It was also decided to hold discussions with confederations to draw up a revised schedule for the 2022 World Cup qualifiers
  • The group also decided to postpone all planned women’s internationals in June

PARIS: All international football matches scheduled for June were postponed on Friday following the first meeting of FIFA’s coronavirus working group.
It was also decided to hold discussions with confederations to draw up a revised schedule for the 2022 World Cup qualifiers which have been shelved.
“The FIFA-Confederations working group... has unanimously approved a series of recommendations following its first meeting, which was organized via conference call today,” said a FIFA statement.
It was also decided by the group to postpone all planned women’s internationals in June.
In the aftermath of the decision to postpone the Tokyo Olympics by a year, the FIFA group proposed keeping the age eligibility rule of players born on or after January 1, 1997 and three additional players.
“The FIFA-Confederations working group will continue to hold discussions on a regular basis as the situation evolves,” added the statement.