Mon, Oct 21, 2013 - Page 19 News List

Simona Halep’s dream year continues

AFP, MOSCOW

Romanian Simona Halep’s superb run of recent form continued yesterday as she captured her fifth title of the year by beating Australian Samantha Stosur 7-6 (7/1), 6-2 in the final of the Kreamlin Cup in Moscow.

The 22-year-old fifth seed — ranked 18 in the world — took one hour, 41 minutes to defeat her seventh-seeded opponent and 2011 US Open champion to record only her second win in five meetings with the Aussie.

“It’s an incredible year for me and I am enjoying every moment of it,” said Halep, who is projected to break into the Top 15 after her latest win.

“Now I already have all of my thoughts about the Tournament of Champions in Sofia [the second-tier end of season tournament taking place next week],” she added.

“It’s a very special event for me and I’m preparing thoroughly for it and hope to perform there at my top level,” she said.

Halep and Stosur, who was looking for her second successive title having won in Osaka last Sunday, were evenly matched throughout the first set, but the Romanian took a firm grip on the tie-break to take it in just over an hour.

Stosur, 29, started the second set brightly, breaking her opponent immediately.

However, Halep, who has won all of her four previous finals this year, stepped up a gear and broke back before breaking Stosur’s serve on another two occasions to ease to victory.

At the award ceremony Halep received a silver trophy by Cartier and a US$132,470 check, while runner-up Stosur pocketed US$70,728.

Later yesterday top seeded Frenchman Richard Gasquet was due to face qualifier Mikhail Kukushkin in the ATP final.

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