Simona Halep: The New WTA No. 1

Simona Halep: The New WTA No. 1

Simona’s rise to international tennis fame has certainly been a bumpy one. She started out 2017 with a handful of defeats and a recurring knee injuries that required her to withdraw from the 2017 St. Petersburg Ladies’ Trophy. Consequently, she also missed Romania’s Fed Cup. She lost the BNP Paribas Open to Kristina Mladenovic for the third time in her career, as well as the Miami Open to Johanna Konta during the quarter finals. She later defeated Konta in Romania’s Fed Cup helping her country win 3-2.

Halep then advanced to her second French semifinal where she beat Karolina Pliskova ensuring her return to the World No. 2 spot. She then faced first time finalist Jelena Ostapenko with the No. 1 ranking on the line only to be defeated in three sets. At both Eastbourne and Wimbledon Halep played within reach of the world No. 1 ranking but lost both times.

During the American hard court summer, Halep continued her efforts towards the seemingly illusive No. 1 spot. After reaching the quarterfinals at 10 consecutive tournaments, she needed only one more win at the Cincinnati Masters, where she ended up losing to Garbine Muguruza, leaving her only 5 points behind Karolina Pliskova. Then, at the 2017 US Open she lost to former world No. 1 Maria Sharapova in the first found.

Halep was finally able to secure the WTA No. 1 spot at the 2017 China Open by defeating Ostapenko in the semifinals where she took the to the podium on October 9th. She is the seventh player to reach the No. 1 ranking without ever having won a Grand Slam tournament.

Despite a great year for Simona Halep, whether or not she will finish on top of the rankings is unknown. However, she remains hopeful saying “it was really good that I could touch the number one this year. It was my goal, so I’m okay.”


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