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Rugby

Halep sees off Bencic to reach Madrid Open final

Simona Halep is seeking her third crown at the Madrid Open.
Simona Halep is seeking her third crown at the Madrid Open. Gonzalo Fuentes/Reuters

Simona Halep advanced to the final of the Madrid Open on Friday following a three set victory over Belinda Bencic. The match finished 6-2, 6-7, 6-0 and Halep will face either eighth seed Sloane Stephens or the seventh seed Kiki Bertens in the final.

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Should Halep win that showdown on Saturday, the 27-year-old Romanian will dislodge Naomi Osaka to become the world number one for the third time.

Friday's victory over Bencic avenged two consecutive defeats to the Swiss. After breezing through the first set, Halep was forced into a decider.

But Bencic was unable to replicate her defiance from the second set. It was one-way traffic as her challenge petered out.

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