Simona Halep shows class by beating Kirsten Flipkens in Belgium final tournament


Former world No. 1 Simona Halep showed her class after beating Kirsten Flipkens at Wimbledon when she wanted all the attention to be on the Belgian, who was playing her final match. On Thursday Halep beat Flipkens 7-5 6-4 to advance to the third round of Wimbledon.

Flipkens, who turned professional in 2003, reached her first Grand Slam semi-final at Wimbledon in 2013. In February, Halep and Flipkens spoke about the Belgian’s retirement from Wimbledon. Halep and Flipkens obviously have a good relationship and the Romanian was honored to face the Belgian in the final tournament of her career.

“It’s definitely not about my match today, it’s about her,” Halep said on the court, according to the WTA website. “I’m really happy to be able to play the last match against her. We spoke in Dubai about this moment; it was quite emotional at the time, but now it’s double.

I really want to congratulate you for all the life in tennis. We will miss you and good luck for the future. Vacation first, then think about whatever you want. Thank you for everything.”

Flipkens enjoyed playing Halep

Flipkens had a 5-2 lead in the first set but then suffered a meltdown as Halep claimed back-to-back breaks and won five games in a row to overturn the deficit and steal the opener.

After losing the first set, Flipkens claimed a break early in the second set and opened a 4-1 lead. Once again Flipkens suffered a meltdown as Halep claimed back-to-back breaks and won five in a row to earn a straight-sets victory.

“I had fun on the court from the first to the last ball, and it was a special feeling. Then, yes, it was difficult to manage. Playing against a great champion like Simona for my last match, on a court like that with a crowd like this, I would have signed up for this before,” Flipkens said. Flipkens ended her career without a win over Halep as the Romanian won each of her six encounters.

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