The transformation of Simona Halep over the last nine months has been quite remarkable. This time last year she hadn’t won a title, but now owns seven after winning Doha, her biggest career title to date. In Sunday’s final, Halep comfortably defeated Angelique Kerber, 6-2 6-3. Halep hit 23 winners to 9 unforced errors and saved all four break points that she faced during the 66 minute contest. Halep dealt with the occasion much better than Kerber, who never found her best tennis in this match and double faulted on match point.
It was another fine performance from Halep, who has proven herself as one of the most tactically astute players on the WTA tour. This was her third top ten win of the week having already beaten Sara Errani in the quarter-finals and Agnieszka Radwanska in the semi-finals. All three were significant wins, but perhaps her second round win over Kaia Kanepi was the most rewarding. Kanepi served for the match at 5-4 in the third set before Halep fought back to beat Kanepi, 6-4 3-6 7-6(5). It appears that match gave her the confidence to go all the way as she won her last four matches all in straight sets.
Halep will move up to world number nine by virtue of this win and should continue to rise up the rankings in this form since she is defending very few points up till the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in May. Both Kerber and Halep are set to play the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships next week, which has a brilliant draw featuring the likes of Serena Williams, Agnieszka Radwanska, Petra Kvitova and Sara Errani. The draw features some stunning first round matches with Kerber set to play Ana Ivanovic and Caroline Wozniacki taking on Sabine Lisicki (Photo: Jimmie48).