23rd ranked Simona Halep (Bio) of Roumania continued her great season by lifting the winner’s trophy at the New Haven at Yale tournament on Saturday. This is her first Premier Level win, but she has already won three trophies this year, at Nurenburg, ‘S-Hertogenbosch and Budapest. In contrast, her New Haven final opponent was 9th ranked and 3rd seeded Petra Kvitova (Bio), who had only won one tournament in 2013, in Dubai.
The New Haven at Yale final showed the vast differences between these two players, who had never met before on the WTA tour. The higher ranked Kvitova is known to be inconsistent – both in complete matches and for losing her concentration for large parts of matches, while Halep has focused on maintaining her focus and sticking to her game plan, with excellent results. Kvitova started by breaking the Romanian and was leading 2-1 and 40-15 on Halep’s serve, but Halep regrouped, held and won the next five games on the trot to take the first set 6-2. She then ran up a 4-0 lead in the second set before the Czech got on the scoreboard, but Halep allowed her just one more game before wrapping up the set at 6-2. The winner/unforced error stat told the whole story of the match – 14-6 to Halep, 13-25 to Kvitova.