Unless you’re a tennis fanatic, you might not realize what a great season is being had by Romania’s Simona Halep. There is greatness outside of the usual suspects like Serena Williams, Victoria Azarenka, Maria Sharapova and Li Na. Just outside of the top 10, Halep is charging up the rankings on the strength of 5 titles in 2013, including a victory at Kremlin Cup over Samantha Stosur. Let’s see…who is Simona playing in the final of the 2013 Garanti Koza WTA Tournament of Champions? Oh yes, Samantha Stosur! Simona took victory away from Ana Ivanovic in the semifinals, 2-6 6-1 6-3. I like Halep, but as an Ana fan this was another tough pill to swallow. Yet again, Ana let triumph slip through her fingers. In her last round robin match, she blew a 5-2 third set lead against Elena Vesnina. In the semis a day later, she was up a double break at 3-0 and serving. She wouldn’t win another game the rest of the match as Simona reeled off 6 straight to end Ana’s tournament. But this is not Simona’s problem. She did what she had to do. Ana must find a way to close out opponents when she has them on the ropes. The fact that it keeps happening time and again suggests to me that it’s a mental block more than physical ability. A good sports psychologist would be helpful. As for Simona, she is looking for title number 6 in what has become a breakthrough year. At only 22 years old with wins on hard court, grass and clay this season, Halep is showing she could be a force to be reckoned with for the foreseeable future. However, I don’t want to dismiss Samantha Stosur. After all, she is a Major champion. No doubt she would sorely like to avenge her loss to Halep at Kremlin Cup. Stosur’s game can come and go, but I’ve watched her enough to know that when she’s on and it’s all working, she can beat anybody in the world.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 02, 2013
| Simona Halep (ROU) d  Ana Ivanovic (SRB)||| 2 – 6 | 6 – 1 | 6 – 3 ||
| Samantha Stosur (AUS) d  Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS)||| 6 – 1 | 1 – 6 | 6 – 3 ||
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