SINGAPORE – Simona Halep’s 6-0, 6-2 win over Serena Williams on Wednesday was very meaningful in a number of ways – her first win over Williams, her first win over a Top 3 player, Williams’ equal-worst loss ever in terms of games won, and it also put an end to her 16-match WTA Finals win streak.
But there’s another big first Halep pulled off – a first that dates back almost 40 years…
Halep is the first Romanian in the history of the WTA to beat a World No.1.
Since the WTA Rankings began on November 3, 1975, no Romanian had ever beaten a World No.1. Not even the other two Romanian women to crack the Top 10 in the history of the WTA Rankings – Virginia Ruzici and Irina Spirlea, who went as high as No.8 and No.7, respectively – did it.
And the keys to her success this week?
“I had a tough period before this tournament, and I said I wanted to work on my serve, because in Beijing it didn’t help me very much,” Halep said. “I worked very hard every day, like 20 minutes just on my serve. I can also say I’ve been playing here like I did at the French Open: without pressure, without expectations. Because if I expect something, my body gets very, very tight, and I cannot play.
“I came here just to take it match by match and see how far I can go, but now this is one of the best tournaments of the year for me. I’m really enjoying myself. I just want to enjoy this moment.”