Madrid feels like home, says triumphant Halep

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Simona Halep said she felt right at home in Madrid after defending her crown in the Spanish capital.

The world number eight produced a gutsy display to down Kristina Mladenovic 7-5 6-7 (5-7) 6-2 in the Madrid Open final on Saturday.

Mladenovic was nursing a back injury and, while revelling in her victory with the trophy in her hands, Halep paid tribute to her beaten opponent.

"This trophy is pretty heavy, but it's really beautiful to lift so I will keep it with me," said the Romanian.

"It's a great event for me, it's very special that I could win this trophy two times in a row and I played one more final so it's pretty amazing.

"I feel like home here in Madrid, so thank you guys for making me feel great on this court.

"I also want to thank Kristina, she has done a great job this year so far and we are just at the middle of the year, so well done and I wish you good luck to reach top 10 this year."

It marked a 15th WTA Tour title for the 25-year-old and was also the first time she has successfully defended a title.