WTA Rising Star Simona Halep won the Bucharest Open to not only conquer her home event, but to get so, so close to the top of the Road To Singapore leaderboard.
WTA Staff

BUCHAREST, Romania - Simona Halep completed a dream week on home soil on Sunday, beating Roberta Vinci in straight sets to not only win the first Bucharest Open, but to get within 11 points of Maria Sharapova on the Road To Singapore leaderboard - Sharapova currently leads the list at No.1.

Vinci had beaten Halep in two of their five previous meetings, and she did jump out to a 2-0 lead in the second set, but the No.1-seeded Halep was never really in too much trouble, storming past the No.2-seeded Vinci in just 68 minutes, 6-1, 6-3. She held her serve at love to close the match out.

Halep now has eight WTA titles to her name, winning her first six in 2013 (Nürnberg, 's-Hertogenbosch, Budapest, New Haven, Moscow and Sofia) and now two so far this season (Doha and Bucharest).

And on top of that, Halep - currently No.2 on the Road To Singapore leaderboard - will now be within 11 points of Sharapova, currently No.1, in the year-long race to the crown jewel event of the WTA, the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global, which takes place in October.

"I really wanted to play this tournament and win it," Halep said. "Today's final was a very emotional one. The crowd was amazing and I want to thank everybody who played a part in the tournament."

There was more - Halep made it clear the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global is on her mind. "What I wish for now is to get to Singapore and do an equally good job there," Halep said. "I want to play every match and every tournament to reach as high a ranking as possible."

Vinci, who went into the final with an incredible 9-1 record in WTA finals, was gracious in defeat, as always. "I knew ever since yesterday that it was going to be difficult," the Italian commented.

"Simona is an incredible tennis player and she has a phenomenal game. I gave it my best and I actually managed to get to 2-0 in the second set but she was too strong. However, it was nice to receive the support of the crowd, and I am happy to have played my first singles final of the year here."

There was home success in the doubles as well, as Romanian pair Elena Bogdan and Alexandra Cadantu beat Turkish-Italian combo Cagla Buyukakcay and Karin Knapp for the title earlier on in a match tie-break, 6-4, 3-6, 10-5. Both Bogdan and Cadantu picked up their first WTA title of any kind.