Ranked Halep to face Siniakova in Shenzhen Open final

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Ukraine's Elina Svitolina won the first WTA title of the year, beating surprise finalist Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-2 6-1 at the Brisbane International.

The sixth-seeded Siniakova hit 10 aces to set up a final on Saturday with top-ranked Simona Halep, who beat fourth-seeded Irina-Camelia Begu 6-1, 6-4.

Heavy rain forced the match to be played at an indoor court, but that was no trouble for Halep to have a good start, who easily won the first set 6-1 without a single break point, reports Xinhua.

"I'm again in the final here in Shenzhen, I'm really happy to play the final again here". "I played a year ago against her, and maybe I will take my revenge - you never know".

"Of course, you know, I played a lot of finals already at this particular stage of the tournaments", Svitolina acknowledged. "The great thing is that I'm through and have another chance to play tomorrow".

Defending champion Katerina Siniakova defeated Maria Sharapova 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 on Friday in her first meeting with the five-time major victor to reach the final of the Shenzhen Open.

The five-times grand slam champion committed 22 unforced errors in the match but stepped up her game at decisive moments of the contest to get past her spirited rival.

Siniakova hit 10 aces against Sharapova, who is set for a return to the Australian Open which starts on January 15.