By Daniel Stroe – Bucharest
Romanian tennis player Simona Halep last night won the Qatar Open tournament after defeating Germany’s Angelique Kerber in a one hour and six minutes match which propelled her on the ninth position in the word tennis rankings.
“I didn’t think I would win since I used to play in a whole different court. This is the most important victory of my life. I played with great pleasure; I only wanted to enjoy tennis. I felt good and I want to thank everyone who has been by my side. Now I trust myself even more since this is the most important tournament I have won so far” she said at the end of the match.
In her turn, Kerbel said “it’s tough to play against a player like Simona; I was trying to play my game plan, but it was not easy, she hit the balls very well and on the line”. It is the second time Halep beats Kerber, after a victory against the German player at the Saint Raphael tennis tournament in 2009.
The Doha tennis tournament ranks among the Premier 5 category and the victory brought Halep a 441,000 USD check and 900 points in the WTA hierarchy. The triumph 6-2 6-3 over the German rival brought her the seventh career title and the international sports media were quick to call her the new rising star of the world tennis.
On the way to win the Doha title, Halep also beat two other players in the top ten, Agnieszka Radwanska and Sara Errani. Last year, Halep, born in 1991, won the Nurnberg, Hertogenbosch, Budapest, New Haven, Moscow and Champions Tournaments, all in different courts, which brought her at the end of 2013 on the 10th position in the global rankings.
Her career caught the eye of the sports commentators when she reached the final of the Roma tournament in May last year where she lost to Serena Williams.