Simona Halep, Viktorija Golubic Claim WTA Titles

The WTA featured two tournaments last week, with Simona Halep adding a title to her career total.

The WTA featured a couple of clay-court tournaments last week, one in Romania and one in Switzerland. In the former, there wasn’t really any surprises as the top-seeded player in the tournament, Simona Halep, took down the Bucharest title. However, the Swiss tournament saw a first-time champion emerge as Viktorija Golubic ran the tables of the clay-court event in surprising fashion.

Firstly, in Bucharest 5th-ranked Halep was playing in a home-country event on her strongest surface – and against a weak field. With a draw that did not include anyone in the Top 50, she did not really have a close call in the event. Furthermore, the final against Anastasija Sevastova was anything but close as Halep left nothing to chance with a lopsided 6-0, 6-0 victory. Double bagels are rare enough on tour, but you could watch tennis for years before you saw one posted in a championship final. In fact tennis fans have to go back to the start of the 2013 season, when Agnieszka Radwanska beat Dominika Cibulkova in the Sidney final, to find such a one-sided affair in a tournament’s championship match.

The title for Halep was the second of her season following a championship in Madrid a couple of months ago. Furthermore, the title was the 13th of her career, an impressive tally given that she is still ahead of her 25th birthday. The Romanian is getting closer to qualifying for the year-end event on tour with her year-to-date ranking currently No. 6. That said, one player ahead of her, Victoria Azarenka, is out of the competition due to her pregnancy, making Halep effectively the No. 5 on year-to-date points among active players. Despite the fact that Bucharest was a low-level tour event Halep was no doubt happy to win on home soil.

Likewise, Viktorija Golubic has to be ecstatic to have won a home-country tournament. WTA Gstaad featured Timea Bacsinszky as the top seed and, if any Swiss was to win, one would think that it should have been her. Golubic entered the tournament ranked outside of the Top 100 and she appeared due for an early exit as she lost the opening set of her first-round match. However, she was able to come back in that match and Bacsinszky suffered a loss to Kiki Bertens. That latter result seemed to set up Bertens for the title however she then fell to Golubic in one of the surprise finals of the current WTA season. With the result the Swiss player jumped into the Top 75 on the women’s tour with what was just her first WTA title.

The tour has now shifted over to the United States mainly, where Washington and Stanford are being played. However, there is an event in Sweden currently running with Montreal and the Olympics soon to follow.


Shane Lambert