By Chris Oddo / Sunday, November 3, 2013
Simona Halep capped off a remarkable season by winning her sixth title of 2013 at the WTA Tournament of Champions in Sofia.
Photo Source: AP
Simona Halep ended 2013 with her sixth title of the season on Sunday, coming back from a set down to defeat Sam Stosur, 2-6, 6-2, 6-2, in the WTA Tournament of Champions final at Sofia, Bulgaria.
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After dropping her first three career matches to Stosur, Halep has now defeated Stosur three consecutive times, all in 2013.
Halep had never won a WTA title until 2013, but she has broken through in the biggest way this season, winning all six finals she played, and rising in the rankings from No. 47 all the way to a career-best, season-ending No. 11 in the world.
“I just want to enjoy this moment and then take some holidays, and just relax,” said Halep, after her 53rd win of the season against only 17 losses. “Hopefully I can play next year like I did this year and do well in Australia.”
Halep, who also defeated Stosur in the Kremlin Cup final two weeks ago, had to survive a tough three-setter against Ana Ivanovic on Saturday in which she trailed by a set and was also down 3-0 in the third set.
That experience might have served to prepare her for Sunday's final. She was broken twice in the first set to fall behind Stosur, but rallied to break the Aussie five times in the final two sets.
Having won 12 of her last 15 matches, including the Osaka title, Stosur wasn't too disappointed with the loss. “She's a very good player,” Stosur said of Halep. “She got me a couple of weeks ago in Moscow and again it was hard today, but I'm happy with the week I had.”
Halep won titles in Nurnberg, s'-Hertogenbosh, Budapest, New Haven, Moscow in addition to today's title. She had lost all three of her career finals prior to 2013 previously.
She is one ranking spot way from joining Virginia Ruzici and Irina Spirlea as the only Romanians to ever break the WTA's top 10.
Additionally, Halep is the only WTA player to have won titles on all three surfaces (clay, grass and hard) in 2013.