Mladenovic earns Halep final in Madrid

This year she won St. Petersburg, and has been runner-up at Acapulco and last week in Stuttgart, falling to Laura Siegemund 7-6 in the third set.

Kristina Mladenovic reached her fourth final of 2017 and the biggest one of her career with a poised performance against Svetlana Kuznetsova on Friday in Madrid.

Cuevas is scheduled to play Austria's Dominic Thiem in the semi-finals after claiming a straight sets win over Croatia's Borna Coric.

The pair set their friendship aside as they battled under the lights at the Manolo Santana Stadium, but Mladenovic bossed the big points and continued her torrid form to seal the 6-4, 7-6 (4) victory.

Mladenovic took the second set, however, winning the tie-break 7-5 after doing well to push the Romanian all the way.

Simona Halep celebrates her victory in the women's singles semi-final match. However, Halep was improving all the time, and she broke again to level, and saved break point to hold for the lead, 6-5. Kerber will need to find her rhythm before the French Open with players such as Simona Halep and Kristina Mladenovic surging. "I'm here in the final". With the momentum running in her, the Top 10 player prevailed in almost every long rally and was dealing well with the deadly Sevastova drop shots, eventually taking the first set 6-2 after just 36 minutes.

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The final lasted two hours and 44 minutes, with both players pushing each other to their limits at times. Halep's movement on the red dirt has been impressive all week, and the third seed will be looking to retain her title.

Halep has been vocal in recent weeks about improving her habit of becoming negative or indifferent when things spiral against her on the court, and she came through her latest test in flying colors, keeping the intensity high to pull away for the trophy. Also from playing doubles, Mladenovic doesn't hesitate to come forward to the net and finish off points quickly.

And make no mistake, Halep has fine clay credentials.

Now Mladenovic was showing signs of back pain, and increasingly resorted to sliced replies on both wings, and Halep went on the offensive to take advantage. This should be an interesting final but the former world number two should have a little too much for Mladenovic on their first meeting on clay.

Prediction: Halep in three sets.

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