Sunday, 20 October 2013

WTA Moscow: Simona Halep wins 5th title of 2013, beats Stosur, 7-6(1) 6-2

What a sensational second half to the year for Simona Halep, who defeated Sam Stosur to win the Moscow title, 7-6(1) 6-2.  Heading into Rome this year she had an unspectacular 9-9 W-L record.  However since that event, which saw her beat Svetlana Kuznetsova, Agnieszka Radwanska, Roberta Vinci and Jelena Jankovic, she has gone on the absolute rampage.  Halep has posted 39 victories along the way (to just 8 losses), which included winning her first title in Nurnberg and backing that up with further victories in s'Hertogenbosch, Budapest, New Haven and now Moscow.  A notably impressive feat is her ability to perform on a range of different surfaces with those tournaments coming on clay, hard court, grass and now indoor hard court.  I don't like jumping on the bandwagon, but it is hard not too!

In this final Halep was in danger of losing the first set having failed to convert on 11 break points, but she showed great determination and belief in her game to claw out of from 5-6 30-30 with an all-or-nothing down-the-line winner and then stroll through the tiebreak.  I have to admit I haven't watched much of Halep, but she possesses a surprising amount of power on her groundstrokes and her strength is definitely the way she constructs her points.  Of course, this tournament has shown us her peak form and not every week will be like this.  The last time she played in Beijing, she had lost very tamely to Urszula Radwanska, wasting leads in both sets.  

I am convinced though that with her solid game, ability to hit winners and beautiful point construction that she will easily crack the top 10 at the start of next year.  Halep won just 9 matches up till Rome so is therefore defending very few points through big events such as the Australian Open, Indian Wells and Miami.  If she can maintain this form then I have absolutely no doubt that she will be knocking on the door of the top 5 in 6 months time.  Below are a few interviews  I found from Simona Halep when she was in New Haven as I know remarkably little about her!

Halep after her first round win in New Haven

Halep after beating Caroline Wozniacki in New Haven

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