Tears as Halep is No.1 at last
SIMONA Halep will finally become women’s world No.1 tennis player tomorrow after reaching the final of the China Open.
The Romanian has missed out on the chance to top the rankings twice this year. But, it was third time lucky as she beat Jelena Ostapenko 6-2, 6-4 in the semi- finals in Beijing.
“It’s very emotional. I think it’s the first time I cried on court,” Halep said.
“It’s amazing that I could do this. My team, everyone at home is watching and I want to thank everyone. It’s my special day.”
WTA CEO Steve Simon and tour president Micky Lawler presented Halep with a memento to mark her achievement after the match.
Halep will dethrone Garbine Muguruza early next week when the new rankings are released and she becomes the third woman to take top spot since mid-July after short spells for the Spaniard and Czech Karolina Pliskova.
She will become the 25th player in WTA ranking history to claim top spot.
Halep would have had the honour in June had she beaten Ostapenko in the French Open final, but the Latvian sprang a surprise at Roland Garros. She took her revenge in Tokyo, taking advantage of Ostapenko’s weak second serve with two breaks in the first set.
Halep might have had a sense of deja vu when she found herself a set and a break up as that was the position of the French Open final when Ostapenko started a brilliant comeback.
The Latvian threatened it again, as she rallied to lead the second set 4-3, but Halep steeled herself and reeled off three successive games. She will bid for the title this weekend against Czech Petra Kvitova or Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia.