By Erik Gudris / Sunday, October 20, 2013
Romania's Simona Halep ended her regular season on a high note as she claimed her fifth WTA title at the Kremlin Cup finals in Moscow.
Photo Credit: AP
2013 continues to be a breakout year for Romania's Simona Halep. She backed up her recent success with yet another title, this time at the Kremlin Cup in Moscow.
Facing No. 7 seed Sam Stosur in Sunday's finals, Halep entered the match having only beaten the Australian one time. But that win was during their last meeting in Cincinnati earlier this summer. Stosur was seeking her third title of the year and second in a row, having won Osaka last week.
Both women traded service breaks in the opening stages of the first set. But it was Stosur who faced continued pressure in her service games as the Aussie saved 11 out of 12 break points before entering a tiebreak. Halep took control of the breaker and never looked back thanks to untimely errors from Stosur.
Halep soon wrapped up the first set 7-6(1).
Stosur managed to swing momentum to her side early in the second set after she broke Halep in the opening game. But Halep broke right back. Though each woman tried to blast the other with their groundstrokes, it was Halep who earned yet another break to put her in command for 4-1.
Stosur fought to get back on even terms, but it was not enough. A final big forehand from Halep that Stosur couldn't handle secured the 7-6(1), 6-2 victory.
Halep stuck 25 winners in the match and did not drop a set all week.
Moscow is now the fifth title of the year for Halep, who has won events on clay, grass, hard court, and now indoors. Her week's efforts will boost Halep to a projected new top 15 ranking on Monday.
Both Halep and Stosur are expected to compete at the upcoming Tournament of Champions in Sofia, Bulgaria.