Romanian tennis player Simona Halep, who recently won the New Haven tournament, will rank among the top 20 women tennis players in the world after her recent first Premier trophy win. This was Halep’s fourth title in her career, and brought her a cash prize of USD 117,000 and 470 Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) points. Her previous trophies were won at Nurnberg, Hertogenbosch and Budapest, all in 2013.
“I just wanted to be focused on every point,” Halep said of the early match turnaround. “I wasn’t thinking about the score, I was just hitting the ball, and my serves and returns were really good for me today. I don’t think she played her best tennis, but I played a really good match. I’m very happy.”
Her victory last weekend against the Czech player Petra Kvitova, number 9 in the WTA ranking and a former Wimblendon champion, was the fifth against a top 10 tennis player, after beating Na Li in 2011, and Agnieszka Radwanska, Marion Bartoli and Caroline Wozniacki, all in 2013. The new title will move Halep up from the 23rd place in the WTA ranking. In the New Haven tournament, Halep beat Daniela Hantuchova, Carla Suarez Navarro, Ekaterina Makarova and Caroline Wozniacki en route to the final, dropping just one set in five matches.
Halep will be the fourth Romanian tennis player who will enter the WTA Top 20, after Virginia Ruzici, Irina Spîrlea and Ruxandra Dragomir-Ilie.
“At the beginning of the year I didn’t think I’d get to the Top 20, but that was my dream, and now it’s real,” Halep said. “I just have to enjoy this moment. It’s unbelievable for me. I feel really, really good, just really, really great. I’m just enjoying every match and feeling so happy on the court now,” she added.
Simona Halep, 22, was born in the city of Constanta in Romania, and started playing tennis when she was four. She started playing in junior competitions in 2008, and won all of her WTA trophies in 2013.
(photo source: Simona Halep on Facebook)