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Halep retains Madrid Open title

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Simona Halep (Getty)
Simona Halep (Getty)

Madrid - Simona Halep thanked under-fire Fed Cup coach Ilie Nastase after defending her Madrid Open title by edging out Kristina Mladenovic on Saturday in a thrilling near three-hour final 7-5, 6-7 (5/7), 6-2.

The Romanian, who rises to fourth in the world rankings with victory, was congratulated on court by Nastase as she received the trophy.

Nastase has been banned from the French Open and Wimbledon after he was ejected from Romania's Fed Cup clash with Great Britain last month for a series of foul-mouthed rants directed at British captain Anne Keothavong and number one Johanna Konta.

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