The players ranked in the WTA Top 10 best beware. Simona Halep is coming. With her three set 2-6 6-2 6-2 triumph over Samantha Stosur at the 2013 Garanti Koza WTA Tournament of Champions (Sofia), Halep finishes her year with a career best #11 ranking. The only thing that could stop her at the moment is the calendar. Ah, but what that 2013 calendar witnessed from Simona. She won 6 titles on multiple surfaces; hard, clay and grass.
|Winner||1.||15 June 2013||Nürnberger Versicherungscup, Nürnberg, Germany||Clay||Andrea Petkovic||6–3, 6–3|
|Winner||2.||22 June 2013||Topshelf Open, ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands||Grass||Kirsten Flipkens||6–4, 6–2|
|Winner||3.||14 July 2013||Budapest Grand Prix, Budapest, Hungary||Clay||Yvonne Meusburger||6–3, 6–7(7–9), 6–1|
|Winner||4.||24 August 2013||New Haven Open at Yale, New Haven, Connecticut, USA||Hard||Petra Kvitová||6–2, 6–2|
|Winner||5.||20 October 2013||Kremlin Cup, Moscow, Russia||Hard (i)||Samantha Stosur||7–6(7–1), 6–2|
|Winner||6.||November 3, 2013||WTA Tournament of Champions, Sofia, Bulgaria||Hard (i)||Samantha Stosur||2–6, 6–2, 6–2|
Prior to 2013, she had made the final in three WTA level events, but had not won a set. Early in the year, she looked like a solid but unspectacular player. But midway through the year she started to put things together in a way that showed why she was a junior champion at Roland Garros 2008. Zero WTA level wins coming into 2013 and 6 going into 2014. Ranked 47th to begin the year and knocking on the door to the top 10 at 11th to end the year, overtaking Sorana Cirstea as Romania’s #1 player. I’d say that qualifies Simona to win the 2013 WTA Most Improved Player. If there is a more worthy candidate, I don’t know who that would be. I almost feel badly that the year is ending for Simona. Hopefully, she can work hard in the offseason and be ready to build on this momentum going into Australia in January.
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