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Slick Svitolina upsets hurting Halep to lift Italian Open title

WTA Rome Simona Halep battles her way to the quarterfinals

But those odds are up in the air after the physical and mental challenges Halep could not overcome in the Italian Open final on Sunday in Rome.

However, the Spaniard, who was seeded third, only managed to last five games and forfeited the contest when trailing 4-1 after struggling with an unspecified injury.

Svitolina also required medical treatment from a trainer midway through the second set, for an apparent problem with her left leg.

Rome - Garbine Muguruza was forced to retire from her Rome semi-final against Ukraine's Elina Svitolina with a neck injury Saturday, placing a question mark over her fitness just a week out from the start of her French Open title defence.

Svitolina will be playing in her fourth final of the season, having won the first three.

But Svitolina, who ousted Czech second seed Karolina Pliskova in the quarter-finals, showed she was fully deserving of her spot, overcoming a tough first set against the sixth-seeded Romanian to level the match in a fiercely contested second set. The Romanian firecracker is tough to beat when she has that confidence going as that fire burns deep. However, considering her consistency and the state of the field, Svitolina has to be deemed one of the top choices at the French Open, behind Halep (if healthy) and past champions Svetlana Kuznetsova and Garbine Muguruza.

After racing to a 4-0 lead in the second set, Halep closed out the match in 1 hour, 17 minutes. "I am still a little bit shocked". The Ukrainian tennis player won the Taiwan Open, the Dubai Tennis Championship and the Istanbul Open and will be determined to add a fourth title to her name on Sunday (May 21). "Today everything fell into place and I played one of the best matches of my career". Live streaming: Sky Go.