Halep, Brianti reach final in Morocco

Simona Halep of Romania beat Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium 7-5, 6-4 to reach the final of the Grand Prix SAR for the second year in a row on Saturday.

She will play Italian veteran Alberta Brianti after former No. 1 Dinara Safina withdrew from the second seminal with a fever.

Both Halep and Brianti will be chasing their first WTA title in Sunday’s final.

The seventh-seeded Halep made the most of Flipkens’ weak serve to break her six times. She made the decisive break in the ninth game of the second set and served out the match at love.

”It was a difficult match, because she played a different game with slice, but I’m happy that I played good and I found the game to beat her,” said Halep.

Halep lost to Iveta Benesova in last year’s final after coming through the qualifiers.

Safina was set to play her first semifinal since her runner-up finish at Cincinnati in August 2009. She said on her Twitter account that she decided to withdraw because she had ”a fever of 40.5” after her semifinal.

”It’s sad because I was playing good, but health is more important,” she said.