Simona Halep secures seventh and biggest WTA title to date

Romanian Simona Halep continued her meteoric rise in the rankings on Sunday after she secured her seventh and biggest WTA title to date. Halep won the Qatar Open 2014 title after cruising past Angelique Kerber of Germany 6-2, 6-3 in a match that lasted 66 minutes.

“I made too many easy mistakes at the beginning of the match, but Simona played very well – she played at a high level the whole week,” Kerber said. “I was trying to play what I could today, I was giving everything I could, but she deserved to win the title. And I’m still happy about the week.”

This is Halep’s third top 10 victory for this week alone, having eliminated Sara Errani and Agnieszka Radwanska. This is a remarkable feat for someone who was on the brink of defeat during the opening round on Monday.

“The first round was very difficult for me because I came from indoors at Fed Cup and it was pretty tough to adapt quickly – I had just one day to practice here,” Halep said. “(Kaia) Kanepi had 5-3 in the third set against me and I called my coach on court, and I just told him, ‘It’s over, I lost the match.’

“But he said I can win that one. And I did. And then I got more confident with my serve. I started to believe I had a chance at this tournament. I was fighting for every point and found my game again.”

The victory propels Halep’s ranking to world number 9.

“I feel very, very good now. I’m very happy I could win this tournament. It’s amazing for me, because when I came here I didn’t think I could reach the final, or win even. So it’s amazing. It’s the biggest tournament I’ve won. It’s incredible here in Doha. The trophy presentation was very nice too.

“It’s just incredible here.”

The doubles title was won by Shuai Peng of China and Hsieh Su-Wei of Taiwan after they defeated Kveta Peschke and Katarina Srebotnik 6-4, 6-0. Peng is now the new world number one in doubles while Hsieh achieves a career high ranking of number two.

“Hopefully we’ll have more finals!” Peng said. “But it was a great week for us. We played some very good teams this week, especially today in the final, and we’re really happy to win this title.”

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