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Halep Conquers Kvitova & New Haven

Simona Halep continued her incredible summer with her first Premier-level title at the New Haven Open at Yale. She is now the fourth Romanian ever to break the Top 20 - who were the first three?

Published August 24, 2013 12:04

Halep Conquers Kvitova & New Haven
Simona Halep

NEW HAVEN, CT, USA - Simona Halep found the perfect balance between power and consistency in the final of the New Haven Open at Yale on Saturday, beating Petra Kvitova for her first Premier title.

Watch match highlights, interviews and more video from New Haven right here!

Halep was in some trouble early on in the match, facing double break point serving at 1-2, 15-40. But she got out of that and ended up reeling off nine games in a row from there for a 62 40 lead, never really looking back and closing out the No.3-seeded Kvitova with her only ace of the match, 62 62.

The numbers for the match said it all, with Halep tightening the screws and hitting 14 winners to just 6 unforced errors and Kvitova struggling for consistency with 13 winners and 25 unforced errors.

"I just wanted to be focused on every point," Halep said of the early match turnaround. "I wasn't thinking about the score, I was just hitting the ball, and my serves and returns were really good for me today. I don't think she played her best tennis, but I played a really good match. I'm very happy."

Halep has now won 29 of her last 34 WTA main draw-level matches, capturing all four of her WTA titles in that stretch, having won International-level titles at Nürnberg, 's-Hertogenbosch and Budapest.

Also, Halep's win over Kvitova was her fifth Top 10 win, having beaten Li Na in 2011 and Agnieszka Radwanska, Marion Bartoli and Caroline Wozniacki already this year. And to top that off, with this result she is projected to break the Top 20 for the first time on the new rankings, making her the fourth Romanian ever to break the Top 20 after Virginia Ruzici, Irina Spirlea and Ruxandra Dragomir-Ilie.

"At the beginning of the year I didn't think I'd get to the Top 20, but that was my dream, and now it's real," Halep said. "I just have to enjoy this moment. It's unbelievable for me. I feel really, really good, just really, really great. I'm just enjoying every match and feeling so happy on the court now."

What will she do with the trophy? "I want to keep it with me - I don't want to send it home!"

And what about refocusing on the US Open now, where she plays Heather Watson in the first round?

"I just want to be relaxed because it's a good moment for me right now. I just want to live this great moment," Halep commented. "It's so nice to win a Premier tournament. It's very exciting for me.

"New York is a crazy city, but in a good way. I'm excited to go there and I hope I play well."

Kvitova may not have come away with the title, but she was happy with her week, and very gracious in defeat. "First of all, I think Simona was really prepared to play," she said. "In the beginning it was pretty tricky for me because I had chances to break her but didn't - maybe it would have been a different match if I did, but I didn't do it. Then she took every chance that she could and played very well.

"But it was the first time for me to defend a title and be in the final, so that's actually a good sign for me. I'm just going to take the positives from this because I had some really great matches here."

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