Wednesday, 18 October, 2017

Simona Halep new world No 1 after win over Jelena Ostapenko

Maria Sharapova supporters hold placards during her China Open match against Ekaterina Marakova of Russia in Beijing yesterday Maria Sharapova supporters hold placards during her China Open match against Ekaterina Marakova of Russia in Beijing yesterday
Damon Campbell | 08 October, 2017, 00:53

She is 26 and has been on the pro circuit for the last 11 years.

She is the first Romanian player to claim the top honour and will be the 25th world No.1 since rankings began in 1975.

A blockbuster first-round clash in NY went the way of Sharapova but Halep produced a brilliant performance in Beijing to win 6-2 6-2.

Halep is yet to win a Grand Slam but reached her first major final at the French Open this year.

In Beijing this week, she along with Elina Svitolina were in contention to replace US Open champion Muguruza at the top of the rankings.

Yet Halep was able to quickly regain the initiative on this occasion and said: "I didn't think too much that I am again in the same position".

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That raised memories of the Latvian's remarkable triumph at Roland Garros, which saw her come from a set and 3-0 down to defeat Halep.

"Of course it's the best moment in my life, and I want just to keep it", Halep told reporters in Beijing.

French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia qualified for the season-ending WTA Finals in Singapore with a 6-3 7-5 win over Australia's Samantha Stosur in round two. Her win advanced her to the quarterfinals.

Simona will play against Petra Kvitova or Caroline Garcia in the title match tomorrow, mighty releaved she finally managed to conquer the WTA list after playing consistent tennis this season (not in the last 2 events, though, but that couldn't make the difference). Halep will be making her fourth straight appearance in the Republic.

In addition to doubling her winners (12) to unforced errors (6), the Romanian also served very well, which was unquestionably an area that Sharapova had been able to exploit in their seven prior meetings.

Kvitova, who produced 33 winners offset by 43 unforced errors, said she was exhausted but very happy with the victory, and will meet Caroline Garcia in the last four.

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