Bucharest Gallery: Celebrating Simona
The home fans got exactly what they wanted at the Bucharest Open this year - their biggest tennis star coming through for the title. Here's a dozen more pics...
Published July 14, 2014 12:10
WTA Rising Star Simona Halep rose to the challenge of her home tournament in Bucharest this week.
She survived a three set semifinal with Monica Niculescu then beat Roberta Vinci in the final.
And she had some surprises for the fans - autographed oversize tennis balls and some soccer skills.
Fellow Romanian and tennis legend Ilie Nastase also kept his home fans happy with some autographs.
The biggest of prizes at the Bucharest Open, which was in its inaugural year on the WTA calendar.
And the fans were ready to see their homegrown star lift it up after her 6-1, 6-3, championship win.
Halep and Vinci were playing for the sixth time and Halep now leads their head-to-head series, 4-2.
Lights, confetti, music - even the runner-up couldn't help but crack a smile at the trophy ceremony.
Halep, who won her second WTA title of the year - and eighth of her career - did a victory tour.
Though she's only 22 herself, Halep has inspired the youth of Romania, with some very dedicated fans.
Those fans stuck around after the trophy proceedings in the hopes of getting that autograph...
And Halep kept signing... and signing... and signing...