14 May, 2017
The world number eight was pegged back at 1-1 by her opponent in the Spanish capital on Saturday evening before getting over the line.
Momentum swung backwards and forwards during a marathon opening set on Estadio Manolo Santana.
Even in her match against Kuznetsova it had more of a feel of cat and mouse as they jostled for advantage, but her confidence is high at the moment, and Halep will have to quell some nerves once more.
Mladenovic opened out that drop-shot early, but Halep is quick, and she chased them down to hold her second service game, and then found her range from the baseline: It took a few deuces, but she finally got her chance to break back: 2-2.
Halep, seeded third, overcame fits of frustration which resulted in slamming balls and swiping at the clay as she returned to the title match which she won a year ago at the Caja Magica.More news: UN chief says seeking further $900 million for Somalia crisis response
In a step from the finals in the tournament in Madrid, the 25-year-old Romanian Simone Halep will argue for a ticket to the final with 27-year-old Anastasia Sevastova from Latvia. Once again, Mladenovic recorded an impressive victory over Halep in the third round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, 6-3, 6-3. However, Halep was improving all the time, and she broke again to level, and saved break point to hold for the lead, 6-5. She will also join Williams as the only two players to retain the title.
"I think it was a great final". I don't really want to talk about my lower back.
Mladenovic leads the career head-to-head with Halep 3-1.
"I can just be proud out there from what both of us showed". Got to give credit to Simona for an wonderful game today.
This final will take place on the Manolo Santana court at not before 7pm local time, and this is the biggest clay court event outside of the French Open, so the victor of this match will head into the French Open with a lot of confidence.