World number one Halep struggled for rhythm against Kiki Bertens but there were one or two reminders of her class.
And the best instance came in the final set, when her back was really up against the wall.
Having come to the net she was forced to produce this outrageous tweener shot.
Six first-timers, but whose run to WTA Finals is most surprising?
Kontaveit storms past Halep to win Transylvania Open final and book ticket to WTA Finals
Halep breezes past Kostyuk to set up Transylvania Open final against Kontaveit