Simona Halep’s chance to return to No. 1 in the world fell apart against Karolina Pliskova. After the exit of current world number one Japan’s Naomi Osaka all Halep needed to do was to beat Pliskova in the semi final clash and the world top women’s player would be hers again.Mistakes doomed Halep, who lost to fifth-seeded Pliskova 7-5, 6-1. Pliskova was up 5-0 in the second set when play was interrupted – for at least the sixth time Thursday – by rain shortly before midnight. Halep, the No. 2 seed, would have replaced Naomi Osaka as the top-ranked women’s player if she won the semifinal.
She led 5-3 in the opening set, and just unraveled. Pliskova won nine consecutive games before the skies opened during a changeover. After waiting about an hour for the rain to stop and the court to be dried, she needed only four more minutes of play and finished out the match at 1:11 a.m. – or 6:11 a.m. Friday in her native Czech Republic, 7:11 a.m. Friday in Halep’s native Romania.