RTS Update: Halep Crashes The Party
Published February 17, 2014 12:14
But why was Halep down at No.15 going into Doha? It was mainly because her start to the season was somewhat of a rollercoaster - first a low in Sydney, falling first round to Madison Keys, then a high at the Australian Open, reaching her first Grand Slam quarterfinal, and finally another low in Paris, falling in the first round to Kristina Mladenovic. She talked about the up-and-down pattern last week.
"When I started this year I was a little bit afraid that I lost my confidence, especially when I lost first round in Sydney," she said. "But I came back mentally. I really found my way to play. I'm mentally strong again now, I'm playing aggressive again, and I'm having that pleasure on the court again.
"Being relaxed and enjoying myself on the court was the secret for my success."
After saying several times in Australia that her goal this year was to stay in the Top 20, she's now talking about "remaining close to Top 10" - still not astronomical, but probably understated.
"I think I can play at a higher level now," the Romanian said. "I believe in my chances and I believe in my game. I feel confident. Now maybe it's possible I can make the semifinals of a Grand Slam.
"I know that will be very tough, but I will work hard for it."
Angelique Kerber, who reached her second Premier-level final of the year in Doha before falling to Halep in straight sets, moved from No.5 to No.4 on the Road To Singapore leaderboard this week.
"I'm going to the tournaments every week trying to get to the final, and I'm happy I got to the final here," the German said. "I was a little bit upset I lost, but it was still a good week for me in the end.
"I've already played a lot of matches this year and I'm feeling really good about my game."
Despite losing their co-No.1 status on the WTA Doubles Rankings, Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci are still on top of the Road To Singapore leaderboard in doubles, and by a hefty margin too - they have 2,840 points together, while Kveta Peschke and Katarina Srebotnik are second with 1,565 points.