Unseeded Simona Halep completed her run to the top in New Haven with a decisive 6-2, 6-2 thumping of defending champion Petra Kvitová to capture her first New Haven Open title at the Connecticut Tennis Center at Yale on Saturday afternoon. Currently ranked No. 23 in the world, Halep gallop past Daniela Hantuchova, Carla Suarez Navarro, Ekaterina Makarova and four-time New Haven champ Caroline Wozniacki during her amazing week in the Nutmeg State leading up to Saturday's final match, dropping just one set in the process.
Halep, the hottest player during the summer season, has run up a 29-5 record in matches played during the past three months—a stretch that includes a semifinal finish in Rome and three singles titles. New Haven becomes her fourth win on the WTA Tour this season.
"I'm really happy that I played so good tennis today—incredible and beautiful tennis," said the 21-year-old star, who is expected to rise to No. 19 when the new ATP world rankings come out next week. That would represent her career best.
"Yeah, that was my dream," said Halep, on her scent into the Top 20. "Now it's real."
She was also full of regard for her opponent.
"[Kvitová] alsoplayed great tennis," continued the Romanian cutie. "I have to enjoy this moment. It's unbelievable for me. I feel really, really great now.
Kvitová , the defending New Haven champ who came to the Elm City ranked No. 9 in the world, came up flat all day as Halep controlled the match's pace with virtually flawless play all afternoon.
"Well, I mean, it was quite tough," said the 2011 Wimbledon singles titlist. "[Halep] didn't make any mistakes, so it was quite tough for me to play the rallies. I was trying to play my game, but it was just for a few games in the beginning of the match."