With her semifinal win over Jelena Ostapenko Saturday in Beijing, Simona Halep became the 25th player to hold the WTA No. 1 ranking.
The 26-year-old who has come so close this season from reaching the top spot, was in disbelief she had finally done it.
“Of course, it’s a great thing. Many others did it, and I’m one of them. I’m really happy about that, but I’m in the middle of my career, so I have many years ahead. I just want to stay the same, focused, and do my job.”
And she becomes the first Romanian woman to become No. 1.
“I know Virginia won a Grand Slam,” Halep said. “But I’m the first one and the only one until now who is No.1 in the world. Ilie sent me a message that he was proud of me. So we both made history in Romania, which is great, and for sure for me, it means a lot.
Since the introduction of the rankings in 1975, Halep is the 25th different No. 1 and the fifth of the year. Though she joins a select few among those to reach the top without having won a Slam after Dinara Safina, Caroline Wozniacki, Karolina Pliskova and Dinara Safina. Kim Clijsters and Amelie Mauresmo also did but later won Slams.
“Of course it’s the best moment in my life, and I want just to keep it,” Halep said. “And I have few more dreams in my career. I tell you one, only one. To win a Grand Slam.”
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