Simona Halep ends wait to become world number one

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Halep has never been No.1 but has had a few missed opportunities, most notably in June's French Open final loss to Jelena Ostapenko.

"It was the toughest year but also the best year", said Halep. "I served pretty well, and the work that I did after the U.S. Open, I could see it on court today".

She got her revenge here, though, taking advantage of Ostapenko's weak second serve with two breaks in the first set. "It's my first victory against her and I just want to enjoy the moment".

In the semi-finals, she'll play ninth-seeded Ostapenko.

Simona Halep reaches the finals in Beijing.

Despite hitting more winners than her rival, Sharapova committed 39 unforced errors and struggled to contend with the Halep's power and aggression in Beijing. She is set to finish in the top five for the fourth year in a row and has gotten to the semifinals of all 14 of the top annual events on the tour, with the exception of the Australian Open, where she has twice made the quarterfinals. "I wasn't as sharp". Halep will be making her fourth straight appearance in the Republic. Halep once again covered the court nicely and she forced another error from her rival, who couldn't find the right rhythm and keep the points on her racquet.

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The China Open tennis tournament for both men and women started on September 28 and is set to end on October 8.

Kasatkina shocked No. 11 seed and defending champion Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland, 4-6, 7-5, 6-2.

Halep will bid for the title in the Chinese capital on Sunday against Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia, who beat Petra Kvitova 6-3 7-5.

But the 20-year-old added after seeing off Romanian Sorana Cirstea 6-4, 6-4: "If I play my best and I stay aggressive tomorrow and I am consistent, I think everything can happen".

Respect: Maria Sharapova and Simona Halep meet at the net after their third-round battle at the 2017 China Open.