Halep Conquers 's-Hertogenbosch
Published June 22, 2013 12:01
'S-HERTOGENBOSCH, Netherlands - Some players take the two weeks between Roland Garros and Wimbledon to rest, recover and prepare for another journey, others go on 10-match win streaks - Simona Halep is one those others, winning her first WTA title at Nürnberg last week and already her second at 's-Hertogenbosch this week - more amazing, they were on completely opposite surfaces.
Having already taken out No.1 seed Roberta Vinci and No.3 seed Carla Suárez Navarro en route to the final, Halep picked off another favorite in the final, storming out to 3-0 leads in both sets then never really looking back either time to take out No.4 seed Kirsten Flipkens for the championship, 64 62.
Nürnberg last week was on slow red clay, while 's-Hertogenbosch this week was on slick grass.
"It's incredible, because I played really well on grass after a week on clay," Halep said. "Today I played well. I was a little bit nervous at the start but I just tried to fight for every point. She's playing a very difficult game for me, slicing a lot, but I played every point and just kept going, and I won in the end.
"I'm really happy. I want to enjoy this evening. It's a special moment for me."
Though Halep had a breakthrough week in Rome recently, her French Open follow-up wasn't so great.
"I didn't expect this," the Romanian said. "I played really well in Rome, but I lost first round at the French Open. But that's tennis. I really want to keep enjoying and improving my game now."
Flipkens still had a great week, reaching her second WTA final - she is now an even 1-1 in those.
"It was really not easy to play with the wind today - it's especially difficult for me to play in with my serve," Flipkens said. "But Simona's in the shape of her life. She won last week on clay, and this week on grass. It looks like it doesn't even matter to her what surface she's playing on at the moment - she's a little bit in seventh heaven for the moment and she played a great match against me today.
"I'm still really happy with my week, though. In the first match I was a set down against Francesca and came back to win. And I would have been fine before this week if I knew I would play the finals."
And what are the Belgian No.1's plans for Wimbledon? "I leave tomorrow morning," she said. "It won't be easy to take care of my body, but I'm really looking forward to it. Every Grand Slam is special, but this one is even more special with the tradition, and because I enjoy playing on grass so much."