Garcia sets up Halep final in Beijing

Caroline Garcia will face new world number one Simona Halep in the final of the China Open on Sunday.

The Frenchwoman continued her superb form on the Asian Swing of the WTA season, easing past 12th seed Petra Kvitova 6-3, 7-5 on the hard courts of the Chinese city.

Garcia is yet to drop a set in Beijing and is coming off her sixth WTA title win in Wuhan last month.

The world number 15 raced to a 4-0 lead on her way to claiming the opening set, winning 72% of her first service points.

The pair swapped breaks of serve early on in the second set, then traded service games until the 11th game. A lapse in concentration from Kvitova handed Garcia three break points and she made no mistake, going up 6-5 before serving out the match.

Waiting for Garcia on the final is Halep, who defeated rising Latvian star Jelena Ostapenko 6-2, 6-4 in just 75 minutes earlier in the day.

The victory will secure Halep the world number one ranking – when they are released on Monday – for the first time in her career, also becoming the first Romanian to do so.

“It’s very emotional, I think it’s the first time I cried on court,” the 26-year-old said on-court after the match.

“It’s amazing that I could do this. My team, everyone at home…is watching, and I want to thank everyone. It’s my special day.

“When I was five points away, I felt that I want it more and more. I try just to not think too much about that, to stop thinking, because you feel the pressure when you’re thinking too much.

“I will never forget this day or this tournament. I always get great support in China, and I’m waiting for tomorrow – the tournament is not finished.”

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