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Wow that was tie. Halep was so solid.

Rybakina was dominant in the rallies most of the time, she hits clean, deep, flat, not random. Big serves. Good and clever movement. Uses her tall size well, is 20 and in great shape (her athleticism can develop again), she's a scary striker, and seems to be consistent so far (I wonder if she'll withdraw from Doha).

Halep had to rely on her experience, confidence, fighting spirit, physical preparation, technique, to stay with her, and eventually get the win. I'm in awe of this player. She was feeling her forehand very well today and hit some great passing shots. She's fighting with her own assets and is an admirable champion.
 

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Take a bow, Simona and Elena. Definitely the best final of the year so far.

Rybakina :cry: Tough! Still so much to be proud of this week. Who would have thought she'd be make the St. Petersburg final, have her tournament in Hungary cancelled, be granted an SE into Dubai, and then make another final beating Kenin, Pliskova, before losing to Halep in a final set tiebreak. She needs to withdraw from Doha immediately, though.
 

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"Premier is enough" Simona Halep. I am discrediting every player she beat this tournament, the WTA is in shambles right now. Rybakina could have saved tennis, but failed, this is so disrespectful.
 

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Damn, Rybakina is such a player. Shame that she keeps falling jut short in the finals, but she'll get there eventually. Such smooth, secure ballstriking.
 

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Heartbreaking for Elena, this win could have been a breakthrough one for her in terms of giving her confidence. Hopefully this doesn't dent her confidence in finals too much because her record this year hasn't been great, always falling in the final hurdle (1-3).

This was a pretty great match overall though between two players with contrasting styles

Elena is such a talented ballstriker, her backhand in particular is stunning. Unfortunately her serve was not as potent as it could be today, and gave Simona many looks, although it has to be said Simona is a very good returner so that possibly played a factor. I really liked the way she played this match with fearless and controlled aggression despite the end result, though there were a few brainless moments in there.

Simona once again played a fantastic final two sets after getting outhit in the first set by a hard-hitting opponent this week. Also wins two final set tiebreaks in a tournament, I think for the first time in her career? The key for her today was her DTL shots, just killed Elena so many times with that shot - it's no wonder that it's her signature shot.

I really hope Elena withdraws from Doha now and get some well-deserved rest. No point overplaying now when she's established herself as a solid top 20 player.
 

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That match had some scrappy moments but overall was incredible ! The highlight reel could easily have 20 winners if not more. Halep hit some incredible winners — lots of forehands and some amazing passing shots — while Rybakina was just thumping them with her power, plus had that incredible stab volley.

You just knew Halep was going to hand back the break at 6-5 in the third, but I'm happy she stayed so strong throughout the rest of the match and especially after losing that challenge to go down 4-5 in the tiebreak. And dead at Rybakina making the dumbest challenge decisions the whole match and then getting that almost-critical one right.

Solid start to the year for Halep and for whatever reason it seems she really, really wanted to win this week. She had to dig very deep in three matches, preemptively withdrew from Doha indicating that she really wanted this final, and almost celebrated more than when she won Wimbledon.

Rybakina has huge potential. So many girls these days seem to be capable of slam-winning level yet who actually wins them seems to come down to a fair amount of randomness, but I'm sure she'll continue to rise. Her surge since last June or so actually reminds me of Simona's rise in 2013.
 

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What an unbelievably close match, Rybakina, 20, really was Halep's equal in this match and she is here to stay. Simona saved match point in R2 against Jabeur and will now lift this title for a second time.

A 2 and a half hour epic that neither one deserved to lose with the more experienced player coming out on top in the end. This is Halep's 20th title and her first Premier win since 2013. Also her 8th consecutive year on tour winning at least one title.
 
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