Romania’s Halep: 'Serena Williams told me she wanted to take a picture with (me) the future number one'
The current number one in WTA rankings, American tennis player Serena Williams, told Romanian Simona Halep, during the WTA Finals award ceremony in Singapore, on Sunday, that she wanted to take a picture with her, the future number one, Halep said when returning to Romania. Williams beat Halep in the WTA Finals final, but the Romanian too beat the world number one several days prior to the final. It was Halep's first win against the world number one.
“Serena told me on the podium that she wants to take a picture with the future world number one and that her mother was taking the picture. I liked very much what she said. Maybe this will happen one day, I can’t say now if it will, I really want to get there, but as I said, the ranking is not as important for me as it is to win many matches and many titles,” said Simona Halep, cited by local Mediafax.
Serena Williams is currently 33 and is expected to withdraw from professional tennis, leaving the floor open to young players to climb to the first position in the ranking. Halep is believed to be among the young tennis players who stand high chances of becoming number one in the world - she is currently 23 years old, and has had a spectacular rise in the rankings in the last two years. Her best ranking was number 2 WTA, and she is currently number 3 WTA, after being defeated by Williams in Singapore last week.
Halep said that her first match against Williams during the WTA Finals in Singapore was better for her, as she was more rested. Halep won that match against Serena Williams in two sets ended 6-0, 6-2. “I was pretty tired in the second game, I played pretty well, I had quite difficult matches. I served pretty well and I had some difficulties with my arm in the final, but I am glad I got that far and I had the chance to play against Serena twice in one week,” she added.
The Romanian lost on Sunday, October 26, the final of the WTA Finals in Singapore, to number one Serena Williams after two sets ended 6-3, 6-0. Simona Halep in currently number 3 in WTA rankings, with 6,292 points, after American Serena Williams and Russian Maria Sharapova.
Serena Williams first became number 1 in the world in 2002, when she was 21. She regained this ranking for the sixth time in February 2013, becoming the oldest world number player in WTA's history.
Romania's Halep first broke into the world's top 50 at the end of 2012, then into the top 20 in August 2013. She made it to top 10 in January 2014, and climbed to number 2 during the year. In 2013, Halep won her first 6 WTA titles in the same calendar year, and was named the WTA's Most Improved Player. She lost two finals against the number 1 and 2 in the world this year - she lost in the Roland Garros final against Maria Sharapova (who is now number 2), and against Serena Williams last week.
Irina Popescu, email@example.com, contributions by Corina Chirileasa