With Serena Williams sidelined in early 2018, Simona Halep is looking to define herself among the throng of women who held the No. 1 ranking in 2017.
On Saturday the Romanian bolstered her current No. 1 status by winning the title at the Shenzhen Open in China, defeating defending champion Katerina Siniakova to 6-1, 2-6, 6-0.
The final was played indoors after a number of rain delays.
“It was a difficult match and she played very well,” said Halep, who lost to Siniakova last year in the second round. “I think we had a great match today. I tried everything to win. I was a little bit less nervous and just tried to enjoy the moment even if we are playing indoors.”
Halep turned around after the singles final to beat Siniakova again in the doubles championship, teaming with Irina-Camelia Begu to beat Siniakova and Barbora Krejcikova 1-6, 6-1, 10-8.
“After the first set I was not cool at all,” said Halep of going down 1-6. “I just wanted to win the match and I did everything I could. I want to thank Begu for inviting me to play doubles. It’s the first time in my life that I have won both titles.”
The 26-year-old Halep improved to 16-12 in career singles finals after last year winning only one of five finals. The 21-year-old Siniakova, 2-0 in finals last year, dropped to 2-3 in career championships.
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